I had to pare down the reader question today. There was some more background, but I included enough to get to the core of this husband’s question:
My wife and I have been in marriage counseling for almost a year with little progress. There are several issues in our marriage but one of the most disappointing is that we only have sex once or twice a year. Several of those years have gone by without any sexual contact at all. The longest we have gone is over a year and a half. This has gone on for 37.5 years. You are probably wondering why I would allow this situation to go on so long. The only answer that I can give you is that our relationship has been the perfect storm…
…I want you to know that I am doing and have done everything I can think of or that either therapist suggests to make this marriage work. I love my wife and have no intention of leaving my marriage unless she drives me off.
Ok, so here is my question, my sister-in-law is an RN and she and my wife are good friends. She is upset that I am making waves and has said that since I tolerated this behavior for more than 37 years I should just continue to tolerate it. Besides, she claims, that woman do not like sex and only do it because their husbands demand it. She says that sex should be quick and that anything over 30 minutes is much too long. Our therapist has commented that in the context of sex, I think like a woman stereotypically thinks and my wife thinks like a man. I am a hopeless romantic who prefers long love-making sessions that include lots of touching and kissing. I didn’t get much touch when I was little, at least not the good kind. She shows me very little affection or tenderness which, I have told her are my top two needs.
In your experience, is my sister-in-law right?
I’m going to digress a bit, but hang in there with me because I’ll connect the dots in a moment. As much as I love history, I don’t know how I could have lived before indoor plumbing. If I had lived in the days when outhouses were the norm and that’s what I’d known for 37 years and then one day someone said, “Hey, you don’t have to squat down in a stinky wooden shack in the backyard with bad weather seeping through and insects or snakes threatening. You could just shuffle down the hallway from your bedroom and use a bathroom closet which will flush away what’s left behind.” Well, I can guarantee you that I’d not spend another day steeped in the smell of poop in last year’s latrine. I’d install an indoor toilet immediately!
Which brings me to this: So what if you did something that stunk to high heaven for 37 years?! If you find out there’s a far better option — something God Himself wants you to have — why wouldn’t you pursue that alternative? Saying “you put up with it before” is not an argument for continuing. Step out of the stink and shoot for the intimacy you and your wife should have!
I’m not saying there are guarantees that you’ll get everything you want, or as soon as you want. But it seems wholly preposterous to me not to desire a deeper connection and to foster that intimacy as best you can.
Yet you asked a more specific question: Is your sister-in-law right? Is it true that women don’t like sex? That wives only do it because their husbands demand it? That 30 minutes is more than enough for a sexual encounter?
Let’s put those assertions up against what God said about sexuality in His Word.
“Women don’t like sex.” Just a few verses into Song of Songs, the wife says this: “Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers” (1:4). That sounds to me like a woman eager to get to her marriage bed. Later she says the following:
- “How handsome you are, my beloved! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant” (1:16)
- “I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love. His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me” (2:3-7).
- “Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages. Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom—there I will give you my love” (7:11).
I could go on. But a whole bunch of women have also commented on this blog, written me in emails, and spoken to me personally about how much they enjoy the sexual act in their marriages. Plenty even have a higher drive for sexual intimacy than their husbands.
And lots of gals are orgasming out there. *waving at grinning wives* Not everyone, of course, which is why there’s a whole orgasm chapter in my book, Hot, Holy & Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design. But enough to know that a fair amount of women like sex, want sex, enjoy sex.
So no, one-half of the population does not automatically dislike sex simply by virtue of being female.
“Women have sex because their husbands demand it.” Deuteronomy 24:5 says: “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.” This has often been interpreted, and I agree, as one year to build intimacy in your marriage, including sexually satisfying your wife. Indeed, the traditional Jewish viewpoint of sex in marriage is that it’s the woman’s right and a husband should do his duty by providing sexual intimacy and making it pleasurable for her.
And in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 says that wives have the same conjugal rights as husbands. Why bother stating that husbands owe their wives sex if the wives wouldn’t ever want sex?
Then, there’s the issue that husbands shouldn’t be demanding sex. No, no, no. There’s nothing Christ-like about that approach. Would God create men to demand sex and then instruct them, “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:28-29)? Or how about this outright command? “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19). Unwanted sex is pretty harsh.
Rather, God created sex to be a mutual experience, desired and enjoyed by both husband and wife. Will they desire it exactly the same way, or with the same frequency? No — perhaps because having to work at it a bit forces us to get past our own selfishness and act in love toward our mate. A higher-drive husband should pursue activities that make his wife feel cherished and desirable, and a lower-drive wife should commit to making sexual intimacy and pleasure a priority.
“Sex should be quick.” Song of Songs 2:16-17 says: “My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills.” Translation? “We did it all night long.” Hmmm.
Hey, I’m not opposed to quickies. They have their place in marriage. However, a diet of quickies would be like eating fast food all the time. It might take off the hunger edge, but it’s not the delicious experience you should have from dining out.
When I looked up the typical time for women to reach climax, the averages reported ranged from 4 minutes to over 20 minutes. Not sure which studies to believe… However, women I’ve talked to say it rarely happens in less than 10, and several take 30 minutes or more. Whereas lots of guys can get it done quicker, although hubbies tend to last longer as they age. Even so, this isn’t like going from zero-to-sixty in a sports car where less time is more impressive. It’s not how quickly you can make sex happen; it’s what length of time fosters real intimacy.
And most couples need time to build anticipation, romance, and desire. Physically speaking, it takes time to arouse a woman enough for her to even be ready for intercourse, since she must be well-lubricated and her inner vaginal lips swollen to 2-3 times their usual size. Then there’s the vulnerability and wonder of being naked together, viewing and touching one another’s bodies. Not to mention the act itself, which can take a bit of time to pull off. If you rush all that, it can feel rote and impersonal. Couples should devote enough time to sexual intimacy for it to actually feel intimate.
Now all of this doesn’t fix where you are in your marriage. I have a bunch of blog posts about how to approach your lower-drive wife and dealing with sexual problems in marriage — so many that it feels a little overwhelming to list them here. I encourage you to use that search tool at the top right of this page and see what you can find. May God heal you, your wife, and your relationship!
In Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, author J. Parker gives candid advice for wives on everything from kissing to oral sex to orgasm to sexual positions all from a Christian perspective.
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47 thoughts on “Q&A with J: Do Women Like Sex?”
Oh. My. When I read this headline I thought, well, I don’t know what I thought. I am a woman, a wife, and yes I like sex. A lot. Far, far, far more than my husband. This is evidenced by the fact that he is only interested once a week or so, and I would love to be with him every other day or more.
Anyhow, enough about me, but yes, there are women who like sex. I do feel for the husbands out there with low drive wives. I know how frustrating it is to have a lower drive spouse that controls everything sexual. It hurts. A lot. More often than not his lack of drive makes me feel ugly and kinda worthless. Definitely unloved and unlovable. So I empathize.
J, I think you did a great job of explaining this one. Think I’ll spend some time praying for marriages with mismatched drives.
Thank you! Yes, we should pray for those couples. When you are often rejected, you can start to wonder if your mate likes sex…or if they even like you. The answer to the second question is almost always yes, and the answer to the former is if they don’t know, they can in the future. 🙂
I personally don’t care much for sex. Can take it or leave it. I think everyone is different and some women are going to love it, some are going to be in the middle somewhere, and some are going to be like me in that they don’t enjoy it much at all. In contrast, all men seem to enjoy sex. Just my thoughts anyway…..
It seems like those wives who don’t like it…haven’t learned how to like it. That is, it’s not automatic for them, and it may require more effort to figure out what works, but I genuinely believe that God created our bodies to desire and experience sexual pleasure. I wonder what would help you feel more aroused and engaged.
I see what you’re trying to say but I’ve had various sexual partners (before I was married) & never enjoyed it then either. I’ve read heaps of books & blogs & tried everything but to no avail. Don’t think I could’ve tried any harder. Sure some parts are good but overall the sensation is mainly for men & not so much for women. Men are highly sexualized whereas women tend not to be as much (in general)
1. It sounds like there could be some physiological issues for you.
2. I wouldn’t take your personal experience and apply it across the realm of women generally. So the notion that “the sensation is mainly for men & not so much for women” just isn’t true for a lot of women — including me.
Praying it gets better for you!
I think the fact that men need and want sex more suggests that it most certainly is more for them than for women. If it felt as good for women, then women would want it just as much. It is a worldwide fact that men are highly sexual and women not so much.
No psychological issues at all 🙂 But thanks for your prayers anyway.
First, it’s a “worldwide fact that men are highly sexual and women not so much.” What research actually demonstrates is that men are more sexual, but not necessarily at the imbalanced percentages than has been commonly claimed. For instance, a recent study showed that men tend to underestimate their female partner’s sex drive. And the study also concluded that “Men have a higher sex drive on average, research has found. But in long-term relationships—typically defined as longer than three years—men are equally as likely as women to be the partner with low sexual desire.” You can check out more about that study here: Women Are More Interested In Sex Than You Think, Studies Show
Second, I didn’t say “psychological issues.” No, no. I said physiological, as in something going on with your body. Blessings!
I don’t know about your assumption that men need and want and feel sex more than women. Men seem to generally have a firecracker orgasm. Zzzziiippp….pop….flicker….ahhhh. Women, including myself, who have talked about their orgasms tend to have 4th of July Fireworks Displays for orgasms.
I am an XX and I love sex.
@libl – LOVE IT!
I love being close to my husband and I love giving him so much pleasure, but I never in all my life felt desire in my loins, as the novels put it. I feel a deep passionate love for my husband, I love to hold and caress him and to be held and caressed, and luckily for me, my husband reads that as physical desire, so he is satisfied. I don’t know why this is, but it’s never bothered me and doesn’t bother me now. I’m saying this to normalize things for Nicky. I think some women have a high drive, and that’s ok, and some of us have less interest, and that’s ok, as long as we find a way to make it work within our marriage.
Real life example: I just had two grueling days, 10 hours at my job and then evening meetings, housework piled up, and you know how that feels. On the first of these two days, I told my husband I was dog tired, and he was very considerate. Yesterday I was just as tired, and I called him on the way home to say I just wanted to rest on the couch for a little bit before heading out to my (work related) meeting. Well, when I got home, there he was, on the couch, fresh out of the shower in just a towel around his waist. How could I refuse him? I know that if I said I was too tired, he would have respected that, but he was so obviously wanting it, I didn’t have the heart to say no. And I actually had a little more pep afterward. This morning, I was tempted to feel less positive about the experience, but I reminded myself that it was my choice to be giving to my husband. To me, this is what I committed myself to when I got married. I find the fact that my husband thinks about me during the day and is waiting for me to get home, very affirming. And I love him and like to see him happy.
Am I the good Christian woman who always puts herself last? Sure, I’ve been that way all my life. What I’ve had to learn is that it’s only ok to be like that if I can do it authentically. If I’m full of resentment, it’s not authentic, and I need to honor myself more.
I was just a little afraid, this morning, that some day serving my husband – who is a lovely, wonderful man – will make me resentful some day. I don’t want that. So I am self-reflective and prayerful in monitoring my inner self, and I communicate with my husband. So far, so good.
Until 4 years ago when I started to read Christian sex blogs online, I thought most had little interest in sex. This has been my personal experience and the experience of other married Christian couples that I know.
Even though my brains says that many women like and desire sex, my heart still cannot believe it. I guess my 35+ years in a sex-starved marriage has taken its toll…
I was just thinking the other day that I really think I enjoy the sexual act more than my husband LOL. He’s all about cuddling. I married a very low maintenance guy. I’m more or less get straight to the point when it comes to that aspect of our relationship. I will say however that as we are in the babymaking stage of life, that has changed the dynamic of our intimacy, as fatigue and hormones have kind of taking over right now, (I have a much lower drive during pregnancy and breastfeeding) A new baby is very demanding. But it’s OK. We cuddle. No one feels neglected. And things will get back to normal. But I do enjoy it (lovemaking) very much yes.
Repeat after me: sex is a good thing for man and woman…sex is a good thing for man and woman; sex is a good thing for our marriage; sex is a good thing for our marriage…..
If this was the starting point regardless of high drive, low drive, or something in between..perhaps everyone would make an effort. It’s no more for men than it is for woman – it’s for both.
J is the sex blogger so she can expound on the mechanics and psychological aspects – but we might be overcomplicating this.
I am a woman who has kept my marriage sexless . This choice has little to do with my husband and more to do with my own personality. I’ve always, even as a child, been very independent, self assured, and self motivated. I have always been able to accomplish anything I put my mind to and I’ve done it all on my own. We were virgins when we first got married and I quickly realized that sex was physically too much mess and too much energy to be bothered with. But my greatest issue was that sex conflicted with my personality. I can’t stand the thought of being so vulnerable, weak or needy to ask for sex from my husband. I don’t need him to provide for me in any way, especially sexually. I realized too late that he was in a terribly unfair situation. When you get married, you typically expect sex to be part of the package, but how could I have known that how I would feel about it? I told him I completely understood if he wanted out or if he wanted an open relationship. He’s stuck it out over a decade and we have a happy marriage otherwise. It’s not ideal but it has worked for us. My point is, men or women with higher drives shouldn’t take it so personally. Often times your spouse’s lack of desire is completely about them, not you.
“It’s not ideal but it has worked for us.” It sounds to me like it’s worked for you, but not so much for him. I pray that you’ll see how important sexual intimacy is for your marriage, for him, and — truly — for you. Yes, it’s a vulnerable experience, but a strongly bonding one as well. It may be a challenge for you to figure this out, but as a strong woman I suspect you could work through those issues if you wanted to. And you’re right — it’s unfair not to include physical intimacy in this covenant relationship. It’s what God intended.
Praying for you!
“I’ve always, even as a child, been very independent, self assured, and self motivated. I have always been able to accomplish anything I put my mind to and I’ve done it all on my own.”
Well, you have either completely failed at having a sexual relationship with your husband, or you just never put your mind to it.
Why not try putting your mind to it and see if you can really “accomplish anything ” – by having and building a sexual relationship with your husband.
I wonder if your husband would say “it has worked out for us.”
Rose, as much as you abhor sex, something motivated you to visit (and post) to a blog that speaks exclusively about it.
Do you mind my asking what it was?
It’s a strange coincidence actually. Just that day my husband and I were having a follow up conversation to a bible study discussion about being unequally yoked. Being unequally yoked is a very common problem for many Christian couples, not just sexually but in many areas of marriage. In our particular situation, we did not live together before we were married so everything was a big surprise after our wedding. We thought we knew each other well, well enough to pledge our lives to one another, but still there was OH SO MUCH we didn’t know. I had visited this blog in the past when we were working through our sexual issues and thought perhaps J had written a post in the past about that very topic; how to handle inequalities after you’re married and it’s too late. However, this was what she had posted and I felt compelled to respond. As a woman who doesn’t enjoy sex on a physical, emotional or spiritual level, this man’s query spoke to me. I belong in the camp that would have been just as content never having married. Although I love my husband and we’ve built a happy life together, I could have been fulfilled and content without marriage. It’s simply a difference in personality. I understand the hurt and rejection that higher drive spouses go through but I truly believe in most cases the rejection is not personal, even though it feels that way. I realize this is a difficult subject for many couples out there and I don’t find it necessary to defend my choices or my situation. My hope is to advocate for women who don’t enjoy sex; women who feel objectified and degraded by sex, women whose husbands disrespect them but still demand admittance to their bodies, women who derive no pleasure from sexual interaction, women who have to chose to feel guilty about denying their husbands or lying to themselves. Those women deserve a voice and their choices deserve respect. My intent was never to anger but to educate. Blessings.
I believe I’m also advocating for those women…to see God’s truth, to heal, to enjoy what God has in store for them in the intimate bonds of marriage. Many blessings to you too.
I think you seem to believe that anyone can learn to enjoy and desire sex. I disagree. I think there are a number of people who biologically don’t have a libido, it’s called asexuality. Asexuals haven’t suffered abuse or heard mis-teachings about sex, they just have no desire. I think in a culture where everything is sexualized, asexualtiy is considered abnormal but it’s just one more unique aspect of God’s amazing creation. We may be the minority but we’re still out there and it’s frustrating when we are constantly told “You just haven’t learned to like it yet.” Just as I can’t change my eye color, I can’t change my sexuality, or lack thereof.
I understand asexuality and have read up about it. However, it’s still a relatively squishy concept with insufficient scientific definition. Asexuals would, at the least, be an extremely small percentage of the population. And plenty of people do not have desire for something, yet learn to engage and appreciate it. I simply don’t see an out in scripture for making an effort once you’ve taken marriage vows.
I really do feel for you, Rose. I am sure this is a truly difficult situation for you.
Oh, and I should comment that I certainly do not think husbands should ever “disrespect them but still demand admittance to their bodies.” That has never been my viewpoint in any way. Rather, husbands are commanded to love their wives the way Christ loved the church, to care for them the way the care for their own bodies, to be considerate, and to never be harsh with them (Ephesians 5:25-32, 1 Peter 3:7, Colossians 3:19). That is how a husband should treat his wife in and out of the bedroom.
I couldn’t help but notice, straightaway, that your comment is completely and utterly saturated with YOU, -your- wants, -your- needs, -your- preferences, etc… Marriage is supposed to be the one surefire safest place to open up and be vulnerable in all aspects…
“I can’t stand the thought of being so vulnerable, weak or needy to ask for sex from my husband. I don’t need him to provide for me in any way, especially sexually.” If that truly is the case, then why did you even bother getting married? You may very well not -need- your husbands provision, but as husband and wife, you’re supposed to work together, side by side, through this life. I have no doubt that you’re a fiercely independent woman, but is maintaining that independence worth sacrificing the joy and mutual fulfillment you could be experiencing -TOGETHER- with your husband in your marriage?
“I quickly realized that sex was physically too much mess and too much energy to be bothered with.” Isn’t life, in general, messy and physically draining? Obviously you find it worth the effort to keep on breathing. Why, then, is your husband not worth such effort?
Marriage is intended to make us set ourselves aside, to selflessly love and care for the other. I honestly don’t see how such a “me centric” mentality is in any way conducive to any healthy relationship, especially a marriage. I sincerely pray that God opens your eyes to and breathes into you a yearning for the marriage He intends for you to have.
Oh. My. Again. I honestly don’t know what to think. Why does it seem like so many of the women commenting that they could not care less about sex, are the ones with husbands that pursue them? Am I THAT ugly, THAT repulsive? My husband does not pursue me. Well, very rarely. Do these wives know how blessed they are? Well @Anonfor… seems to. She admits that having her husband think about her is very affirming. I long from somewhere deep inside myself to know what that feels like.
I am a woman. I used to initiate all the time, and my husband seemed okay with that. When I started reading about marriage, I realized this was all wrong. That the wife initiating should be a treat, a thrill. I learned that most men pursued their wives often (not vice versa) and that my entire marriage was backwards. This opened my eyes to what my husband must really think about me, and it stinks. I’m trying to make peace with it, but the comments from other women on posts like this make it incredibly hard.
I have asked my husband what is so wrong with me? What is so very unattractive? He always replies that he is very attracted to me and loves me very much – but his actions shout the exact opposite. I’m lucky if he wants to be intimate once a week. Where are all these men that crave sex more frequently, and what am I doing so very wrong that my husband is not one of them???
I have to say, @Rose, your comment made me a little bit angry. What makes you so special, so perfect, that you just get to decide to keep your marriage sexless? Do you know how painful that must be for your husband? He may very well think that you could not care less about him or his feelings. He may feel like a loser, like he’s just not good enough, because of the way you treat him. I don’t know how he feels, but I know how I feel, and my husband can at least force himself to be intimate once a week. The fact that he doesn’t find me special enough to him to be intimate, or to even crave intimacy more often, is crazy painful – but at least he forces himself to act like he cares once in a while. You are blessed that your husband has stuck it out this long, and hasn’t been unfaithful. I hope you realize that, and I hope you realize how badly you may be making him feel. Wow. I’m not sure that you’re as strong as you think you are. I’m going to pray for you and your husband.
And the comment “men or women with higher drives shouldn’t take it so personally…” I could not disagree more. It is one of the most personal things there is. It is very personal and very painful. When you are unloved, undesired, and unattractive to your own spouse, the whys can consume you. It’s a painful place and I need to take it to God in prayer over and over again.
I can not, and will not ever understand wives who do not like having sex With their husbands. It seems to me that their husbands are willing to bestow on them the love and affection and desire that I so long to know, but they push it away. To them I’d like to say “what is wrong with you?” Don’t you realize there are women like me who have a side of them that is fun and sexually feisty, and yet she must keep it hidden at the risk of coming on to her husband too strong? That there are people like me who would love to be desired be their husband the way you are by yours? Goodness ladies, wake up and realize how blessed you are. Embrace it. I would love to – just one day – know what it’s like to be attractive and desireable to the man that I love.
I don’t think the comparisons help our marriages much. We just are where we are and need to move toward God’s design for our marriage.
And, by the way, I’m quite certain I’ve never said that the wife initiating sex more in marriage is wrong. I know the stereotypes that abound, but I now believe that perhaps one-third of marriages have a higher-drive wife.
As always, praying for you!
I’m so sorry for the hurt and frustration you feel in your marriage. I do understand what rejection feels like. I am by no means perfect and would never pretend to be. For the first few years I tried diligently to change my attitude towards sex. I never desired sex and it brought me no physical pleasure, no pain either, just nothing. I would “fake” it sometimes but then I felt even worse; I was lying to my husband and myself. But then if I was unresponsive, he felt like he was taking advantage of me and I was being used and degraded. It was a no win situation. When I first told my husband about these issues, he was hurt and felt rejected. Even though it was very difficult, we kept our communication open and honest. He realized that I love him very much but simply don’t equate love with sex. I was not rejecting him personally rather I was rejecting the idea that sexuality needs to be a part of the marriage relationship. We’ve always been able to discuss our feelings about this including going to counseling and the possibility of separation. It’s just never been a big enough issue to go that route. What we have both learned through this experience is that our joy, our hope and our happiness is not found in each other; it is found within. We support each other’s hopes, dreams and aspirations. We are partners, helping one another reach our individual goals. My point of responding to this post was not to hurt anyone but simply point out that we are each unique. Some people desire a sexual relationship to feel connected, some do not. Your husband not initiating sex is not necessarily a rejection of you, but simply rejection of the idea that sex needs to be a part of a healthy happy relationship. I hope you can communicate openly and honestly with him about this issue and in the meantime, discover your value, the precious creation that you are apart from your marriage, and revel in the joy of knowing you are cherished and loved.
Amen B! I have to say AMEN to everything you have said! I used to struggle with A LOT of the same issues you have mentioned, thank God I have w/His help learned to get through those things! And…well I don’t even know how to express how bad I feel for Rose’s poor husband!
I have found that for me to want sex I have to deliberately pray about it and work at wanting it by praying about it and by reading blogs like this that make me think about it. I love sex with my hot husband… He takes awesome care of me in that department! But I really feel it’s because I make a serious effort to initiate and to consider myself as a sexual person. It doesn’t come as naturally for me to want a sexual encounter but when I make the effort I never regret it even if I don’t orgasm because it binds us. Just one opinion that maybe the definition of liking sex doesn’t mean that you naturally want it all the time without effort. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this blog and how many times when I know that hunby wants sex I read a few to get myself thinking about it and prepared!! Love love love you
I agree with this. I stumbled across this blog, my fiance and I are not religious but we’re still spiritual people. I am in the same boat as you. Wonderful caring man who I’m marrying in August but we are on two totally different levels. And I definitely have to try! I’m glad every time I put that effort forth, because it’s always so worth it and I have to keep that in mind! It’s reassuring to have someone else affirm this as well.
Any spouse who marries the other without any sexual feelings should have said so immediately and before the wedding. Not doing so is simply wrong. It is a fraud perpetrated on the unknowing spouse. And, anyone who truly believes sex is not a part of marriage needs to read their Bible. Honestly Rose, I hope your wonderful husband decides to go his own way. He deserves a Christian marriage. Your are not living in a Christian marriage. Plus, you have clearly stated that you don’t really need him, that you would be fine unmarried. If so—-let him go! John R
*Sigh* No J, it’s really not a difficult situation for me because I’m 100% confident and secure in who I am. I am not perfect, but I am blessed and forgiven. I wish more of your readers, and more people in general, could know they are whole and complete as they are. Although it’s nice to have, we don’t need affirmation from our spouse to be complete. That was the point in my responding initially.
Asexuality, as you say, has not had a lot of scientific study. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. This is probably because it’s not really an issue for most asexuals. For most of us, we realize we don’t have sexual desire so we don’t have sex. It only becomes an issue when it causes stress in romantic relationships. My husband and I love each other for who we are as individuals, not because of sex. We have a happy, whole relationship without that aspect because we are confident as individuals and as a couple. It is possible!!!! Some asexuals do try to overcome their biological make up and have sexual relationships with their partners. Sometimes that compromise works well. It didn’t for me because it was like allowing myself to be violated and caused me to resent my husband.
This is my final response on this issue but for any women, or men, out there who love their partner but detest sex, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! This may be causing serious distress in your relationship, and I’m sorry for that. But please keep communication open with your partner. They need to know you love them but they also need to understand your feelings about sex and why it is so difficult for you. For those higher drive spouses who are struggling, please try to understand that your spouse is not trying to be difficult or unloving. They do not have a desire for sex, please try to understand how difficult it is to share your body, be that intimate and vulnerable, when your body and brain are not in it. It takes a great deal of understanding but it is possible. Blessings to all.
Rose, I wish you the best as well. But unless your husband is also asexual, this is not okay. And I clearly disagree with the message you are trying to skirt around me and send to my readers. Very few wives would even begin to fit into the category you’ve assigned yourself, and it is, sadly, selfishness to say to a spouse longing for sexual intimacy, “I’m just this way. Get over it.” You don’t have to believe me one bit, but I cannot imagine you’d find confirmation for your stance from scripture. Truly, I pray that something changes in your marriage. Many blessings!
I have spoken openly (Though with discretion for our husbands’ privacy, of course) with 6 or 7 other wives about our married sex lives. I can honestly say that every single one of those wives have told me that they themselves are the much higher drive spouse. My husband and I tend to be just about equal in our drives at this time in our marriage, which is absolutely awesome and we are blessed. But, these wives I have spoken with have suffered so much pain, feeling rejected and like there is something wrong with them. I myself experienced this for part of my marriage when my husband had to be on antidepressants briefly and had little to no sexual desire during that time. It hurts so incredibly much to want something that is supposed to be a part of a Biblical marriage and be denied it. Any spouse who denies their partner callously should try to put themselves in the partners shoes by imagining being denied something absolutely vital to their happiness and well being. Woman love sex! We merely have a history in this country (and others) of making is seem like men want sex and woman don’t. I truly believe Satan has fostered this belief in order to try to break apart and destroy the marriage bed and marriage itself. I thought most people were moving past this mistaken belief, but I can see now that this issue still requires much prayer. Thank you for writing an encouraging article for this obviously suffering husband. He and his wife will be in my prayers!
Thanks for sharing that. I certainly know many high-drive wives who long for their husbands to respond to their emotional need.
Thanks for writing this, J. I’ve recently discovered your blog and several other Christian marriage blogs, and am glad I have. I’m in my mid-thirties, been married for about two years now. As I talk to women in church, I find almost none of them desire sex with their husbands. Most of what they do is sit around women’s groups and other women’s events at church and bash the daylights out of their husband, including how they don’t care whether they sleep with him or not, but he always wants it. I was truly starting to feel like some strange freak because I’m a Christian woman who loves sex with my husband. Thanks to you and your readers for showing me I’m not so odd after all.
Thanks, Allie! Please encourage these wives. I suspect some other woman in your circle, who remains silent, doesn’t agree with the overall mood of those conversations. We Christian women who understand the importance of sexual intimacy need to advocate for marriages when we can. Blessings!
Thanks for your reply, J. I have tried to ask these women about their attitudes in a friendly way, tried to offer some kind of encouragement. Most of the time I am dismissed because I have only been married a little over two years. I’ve been told things like, “Just wait till you’ve been married for 7 or 10 years, you’ll get it then. Your desire will go away then.” Or, “Once he gives you a baby you’ll understand you don’t need it anymore.” (I should add here that we’re unable to have biological children due to health issues and have chosen not to pursue adoption, so no kids here.) Anyway, how can I offer encouragement when the argument used to shut me down is that I’m too new to this marriage thing? I’m not starry-eyed enough to think that we won’t have to work to keep desire alive, or that we won’t have issues in 7-10 years that we don’t have now. I’m not looking at this with rose-colored glasses. But I also believe that with said prayer, work, communication, etc, we can keep that desire alive and well. Heck, maybe in some ways sex will be better in 7-10 years than it is now! 🙂
I’d just respond perkily with something like, “Fine. Check with me in 7 to 10 years. I bet we’ll still be rockin’ it, and both my husband and I will be happier for it!” And yes, I want to be there myself to give my own take to these women. I’ve got 20+ years of marriage, and I can tell you that the sex is even better now. 🙂
Despite my wife’s drop in hormonal desire, the sex we enjoy now, after 25+ years is *much* better, for both of us, than it was in the early years of our marriage.
As a single guy in my late 40s, two of my two biggest fears are: 1) that I won’t find a wife, and 2) if I do, she would develop (or later reveal) a callous attitude toward sexual intimacy. Many of the replies to this post validate those fears.
I feel terrible for wives and husbands whose spouse has, in “Two-face” fashion, shown a lack of mutual love through rejecting what God created–and commands in His Word–to be a key part of marriage.
I’d rather remain single for the rest of my life and deal with its deep loneliness and sense of failure than be stuck in a loveless marriage without sexual intimacy. But I’m thankful for all those who are speaking truth into this issue, and helping dismantle the lies and removing the many hurdles that are destroying so many marriages.
I really think you can figure this out before marriage. It should be covered in premarital counseling, of course. But ultimately, if you marry someone willing to discuss the subject, work on their baggage, and pursuing godly principles across their lives (including the bedroom), you’ve got a good recipe for success. Marriage includes up-and-down seasons, but if two people understand the priority of sexual intimacy and are humble enough to work on it, they’re very likely to fare well.
This comment is more for couples who are in the early stages of this struggle-35 years is a hard habit to break, so I can’t comment much on that (nor have I been married that long).
My husband and I have had this struggle, though not to this extreme. We would end up only having sex once a month, or less when our babies were small (understandable). He started believing I did not like sex when in fact I have a fairly high sex drive. After some counseling, here are some issues and suggestions we discovered. Just sharing in case someone can relate.
If you don’t read this super long comment, please read this-the longer I’ve gone without sex, the less I want it and the easier it is to suppress any desire for it. Don’t let it get to 35 years or it will be much harder to work on, like it is for the question asker.
1) My biggest struggle was this: Sex ALWAYS took a long time for us. We were virgins when we married, which I am SO THANKFUL for, but we didn’t know what we were doing and I had unrealistic expectations. I wanted to have amazing sex and automatically know how in 30 mins to an hour max. hahaha Anyway, I started to get a small bit of anxiety when my husband initiated sex with me, especially when the babies were small and I only had one hour to myself a day. Anxiety arose because when my husband wanted sex, I thought it was going to take over and hour and be grueling…even though I liked sex. I liked the closeness and the orgasm and pleasing my husband-I just didn’t want it to ALWAYS take so freaking long (long is great at times). SO, I would say I didn’t feel like it. This left my husband feeling rejected and I wasn’t meeting his need for love (he is a high touch receiver).
Our counselor helped me to see there’s an in between (DUH-seems obvious, but to me it was all or nothing). I learned to communicate with my husband things like, “I don’t feel like having intercourse, but I would love to snuggle and make out a little.” This made SUCH a difference. It put the flirting back into our relationship and a lot of times after a little cuddling and kissing, I change my mind and am ready to go.
2) I put too much pressure on sex: I discovered a lot of why I had anxiety when my husband initiated sex was because if it wasn’t amazing, I felt like it was a failure. My husband and I are kind of opposite the typical man and woman. I orgasm fast and multiple times clitoraly (intercourse is another issue…) but my husband takes a while to orgasm. Intercourse was uncomfortable for me for a long time and I didn’t like orgasms during intercourse (I’ll explain later :-)) So, if my husband didn’t orgasm or lost his erection, I felt like a total failure. If I had trouble orgasming, I’d get frustrated. The above suggestion helped with this-it put the fun. flirting, and foreplay back in our sex life. Also, just acknowledging this and hearing my husband tell me he just wanted to be with me whether he orgasmed or not was helpful.
Perhaps I’m just different but regarding sex:
Sometimes it’s awesome
Sometimes it’s ok
Sometimes it’s disappointing
Sometimes it’s down right painful to almost impossible.
The only thing it’s ALWAYS been, is a work in progress.
“Do women like sex?”
In my case, sometimes yes and sometimes no.
I have a rather different perspective about sex….. sex is symbolic of our relationship with God. I have come to understand that as a married Christian your sex life is reflective of your faith life.
You cannot be married, love time of intimacy with God and not love it with your spouse…..something is not right. Scripture says as married person your body is not yours and that you should not defraud your spouse of it.
Many of us may have had bad experiences or wrong information about sex in marriage, but if you are learning and growing in your intimacy with God it ought teach and grow you in your intimacy with your spouse.
We do need to ask the Holy spirit to reveal Gods mind on this matter, especially for those of us who feel we can’t afford to be needy, or that our body belongs to us to do as we please with.
As prayer and fasting is not always convinient and pleasuring but understanding the purpose and reaping the benefits make it worthy, so is sex in marriage.
For indeed when the purpose of a thing is not known abuse is inevitably.
May the Holy Spirit help us.
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