You know the song, right? Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”? Well, let’s hope the vast majority of us don’t want to leave our lover—that is, our spouse—nor do we want to leave them unsatisfied with our sexual intimacy!
God’s design is for sex to be mutually desired and enjoyed. And yet, we can intentionally or unintentionally do things that undermine that goal. Hot and holy sex requires continually checking our motives, our attitudes, and our behaviors to make sure we’re creating a safe, healthy environment in which genuine intimacy can flourish.
Having heard from spouses for over 12 years now, I came up with a list of 50 ways we can leave our lover unsatisfied. My list assumes a couple is having sex in their marriage but missing out on truly satisfying sex, either from time to time or often. As you read my list, don’t look for the areas where your spouse isn’t nailing it; rather, ask where you could improve and click on some of the links for more help in that area.
- Don’t practice good hygiene before showing up in the bedroom.
Why She Needs Him to Shower
- Skip kissing.
You’re Not Kissing Enough
Why Kissing Is So Intimate for Her – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Complain about how long it takes for your spouse to become aroused.
It Takes As Long As It Takes
How Much Foreplay Does She Need? – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Call your spouse that nickname he/she hates.
Is He Sweetheart? Stud Muffin? Romantic Nicknames
- Avoid using lube when it would help.
Let’s Talk Lube
Why Your Wife Needs Extra Lube – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Deny the emotional part of sex, asserting instead that it’s just physical.
Pursuing 4-Dimensional Intimacy (Debi Walter guest post)
Don’t Just Have Sex. Make Love.
Why Sex Should Be Hot, Holy, and Humorous
What is Intimacy?
- Just lie there.
Two Words Your Higher-Desire Spouse Needs You to Hear
- Look at your phone during sex.
Do You Check Your Phone During Sex?
- Expect that having sex resolves an unfinished argument.
Episode 9: The Myth of Make-up Sex – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
Episode 145: When the Relationship Gets in the Way of Sex – Sex Chat for Christian Wives
- Resume an unfinished argument immediately after having sex.
Q&A with J: How to Handle Arguments in Your Marriage
How to Talk about Sexual Problems with Your Spouse
- Get your orgasm and then stop.
How a Good Husband Can Be a Great Lover
Q&A with J: “How Do I Get My Turn?”
- Engage with porn or erotica before, after, or…actually, any time.
5 Reasons to Stop Using Porn…Now
It’s True: Porn Can Kill Your Sex Life
When Should You Stop Battling Porn?
Why I Haven’t Talked about 50 Shades
Episode 3: 50 Shades of Here-We-Go-Again – Sex Chat for Christian Wives
- Insist your spouse wear lingerie she/he dislikes.
Episode 47: Lingerie – Sex Chat for Christian Wives
Why Won’t Your Wife Wear Lingerie? – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Criticize your spouse’s body.
Husbands, Help Us Feel & Be Beautiful
Are Women Harming Male Body Image?
- Make birth control your spouse’s responsibility.
Intimate Covenant Podcast: Birth Control – specific methods  on Apple Podcasts
What’s So Great about “Shooting Blanks”?
- Downplay your own or your spouse’s pain during sexual intercourse.
Episode 33: When Sex Hurts Her – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Require darkness to get naked, never letting your spouse see your body.
Getting Comfortable Being Naked with Your Husband
Tips for Confidently Baring It All for Your Hubby
- Often stop, listen, and worry about others hearing you.
Q&A with J: Avoiding Sex Because the Kids Can Hear
Making Love When You Have Teens in the Home
7 Tips for Having Sex at the Parents’ House
- Tell your spouse to ignore children who need immediate attention.
Helping Your Wife Balance Motherhood and Sexual Intimacy – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
Sexual Privacy Matters More to Your Wife – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Mention the exact number of days it’s been since last time because you’re keeping score.
Should You Track the Frequency of Sex in Your Marriage?
- Laugh at instead of with your spouse.
Does He Make You Laugh?
- Don’t show affection afterward.
After the Lovin’: What Happens after Sex?
Episode 18: The End of Sex – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Pressure your spouse to do a specific position or activity.
4 Principles Christian Bloggers Should Affirm About Sex
Setting Boundaries in the Bedroom
What If Your Husband Is a Bedroom Bully?
- Bring up a past lover.
Does Your Spouse Think about Previous Lovers?
Why You Feel Worse Than He Does about the Premarital Sex
- Leave your spouse to clean up any mess from lovemaking.
10 Things to Do After Sex
Creating an Inviting Bedroom – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Use crass language your spouse doesn’t like.
Let’s Talk About Talking Dirty Webinar with J. Parker & Dr. Jessica McCleese
Talking Flirty vs. Talking Dirty
- Constantly suggest the newest sex tip you found, as if your sex life isn’t complete without trying something new.
Vanilla Is a Flavor – Honeycomb & Spice (honeycombspice.com)
Episode 59: “Why Won’t My Wife…?” – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Never try something new.
Freshen Up Your Foreplay
Q&A with J: Adding Variety to Your Marriage Bed
Episode 126: Is Your Sex Life Boring? – Sex Chat for Christian Wives
Is Your Wife Bored in Bed? – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Don’t respond to your spouse’s suggestions on how to touch/arouse them better.
Q&A with J: How Do I Get My Husband to Do What Turns Me On?
How Do You Like to Be Touched?
- Don’t keep a scheduled sex date.
Episode 5: Sex Scheduling – Sex Chat for Christian Wives
Rain Check Sex
- Quote Bible verses at your spouse to guilt them into having sex.
3 More Principles Christian Bloggers Should Affirm About Sex
Does Your Wife Owe You Sex? – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Choose a bad time of day for your spouse to have sex.
5 Times of Day to Make Love
Sexual Timing Matters – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Ignore messes you made when you know it distracts your spouse from focusing on sex.
Episode 67: Romance and Your Bedroom – Sex Chat for Christian Wives
- Don’t listen to your spouse share their heart before or after a sexual encounter.
Connect Through Conversation – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
Two Important Aspects of Sexual Intimacy
- Claim that God has nothing to do with your sex life.
Is Sex a Spiritual Experience in Your Marriage?
The Gospel in the Bedroom
Praying Before, During, and After Sex
- Rush through foreplay.
Newsflash, Hubbies! She Loves Foreplay.
- Don’t lock the door.
Lock the Door, for Heaven’s Sake!
- Let your spouse know the sex was only for them, not you.
The #1 Myth Christian Women Learned about Sex
Sex Is for You Too (Scott Means guest post)
Episode 118: Sex Is for You Too – Sex Chat for Christian Wives
- Withhold sexual struggles you’ve having so they don’t get resolved.
10 Tips for Talking to Your Husband About Sexual Intimacy
Wives, Your Voice Matters (in the Bedroom & Beyond)
- Share with others private information about sex with your spouse.
How Much Should You Share about Your Sex Life?
What Should You Share about Your Sex Life with Friends?
- Never, or rarely, be the one to initiate.
40 Ways to Initiate Sex with Your Husband
5 Ways to Initiate Sex with Your Spouse
10 Quick Tips for Initiating Sex – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
- Rely on sex toys instead of learning how to pleasure your spouse yourself.
Q&A with J: “Is It Okay to Use Sex Toys?”
Q&A with J: “I’m Desensitized to My Husband’s Touch!”
- Whine about not getting to do sexual activities your spouse doesn’t want to do.
Why Doesn’t She Want to Give You Oral Sex? 5 Reasons That Are About You (and What You Can Do About Them) – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
Should You Share Your Sexual Fantasy?
- Don’t apologize to your spouse for past sins or mistakes regarding sex.
Two Words That Could Change the Course of Sex in Your Marriage
- Never have quickies.
5 Reasons to Love a Quickie
Episode 62: Why Not Have a Quickie? – Knowing Her Sexually (khsministry.com)
Episode 144: What About Quickies? – Sex Chat for Christian Wives
- Only have quickies.
3 Tips for More Intimate Lovemaking
- Treat sex as if it’s always serious business.
Lighten Up! And Laugh a Little about Sex
Episode 25: Sex Is Funny – Sex Chat for Christian Wives
- Avoid eye contact during sex.
Where Should I Look during Sex?
The Power of Sexual Empathy in Bed
- Fail to express “I love you” in whatever way works for you both.
What Husbands Long to Hear from Their Wives (In Their Own Words)
What Wives Long to Hear from Their Husbands (In Their Own Words)
- Expect sexual intimacy to improve without intentionality and effort.
Yep, great sex involves intentionality and effort. Which is why I’ve launched the 2023 Hot, Holy & Humorous cruise! Not only will we cover some don’ts and dos, we’ll go deeper with interactive learning, specifics for your marriage, and opportunities to put insights into practice in your private stateroom (~wink, wink~). It’s a marriage conference and romantic vacation all in one!