Our reader question comes from a wife who doesn’t care about having sex, but neither does her husband. Here’s her query:
…the problem I am facing is that neither me or my spouse have any desire for sex at all, like, none. I think I may be asexual. What do you do if neither spouse has any sexual desire? I mean, we are both very happy and our marriage can’t be any better, but I’m just wondering if this is normal and should we be worried if neither of us have any desire to have sex yet are happy either way…. Is asexuality bad? I love romance and so does my husband, but I have no desire for sex and neither does my husband. I’m just wondering your opinion of married couples who are completely happy being sexless like we are because reading everything you have written makes me wonder if me and my spouse are broken even though we are both otherwise in a happy marriage.
If you asked a psychologist or sex therapist what they think, I suspect they’d say you should only have sex as often as the two of you agree to have it. Moreover, some Christian authors and counselors might agree.
But what does God have to say about this?
I mean, hey, He invented this whole put-the-puzzle-pieces-together act. He also created the institution of marriage, with its other benefits and blessings. Surely, as both Creator and Lord, we should hear what He has to say about whether sex in marriage is nice or essential.
The passage many might consider as definitive is this one:
The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control (1 Corinthians 7:3-5, NLT).
Except in your case, it could be argued that neither of you feels deprived or experiences self-control issues in the realm of sex. So are you really hurting one another to avoid it?
But everything I see in Scripture says that sexual intimacy is supposed to be happening in marriage. Genesis 2:24 says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” While this verse includes many aspects of marital intimacy, you won’t find any reputable biblical scholar who wouldn’t say that sex is among them. Even the word choice of one flesh connotes a physical connection.
Jesus affirmed this focus of marriage by citing the verse: “‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:7-9).
Married couples have sex in the Bible. It’s what they do. Indeed, if you didn’t fulfill your full sexual obligations, you could get in trouble (see Genesis 38).
Additionally, God told His people to “be fruitful and multiply” — which means they must have sex. Now I do not believe this means every marriage must produce children, but it does show that one reason for marriage is to provide the context for creating more made-in-His-image human beings.
God’s Word as a whole not only allows but encourages married couples to make love — for the sake of reproduction, yes, but also for pleasure and intimacy.God's Word as a whole not only allows but encourages married couples to make love -- for the sake of reproduction, yes, but also for pleasure and intimacy. Click To Tweet
And here’s where the crux lies: intimacy.
If you live with someone and have a great friendship and partnership, wonderful! That’s a great relationship to experience in your life.
But it simply doesn’t have the same depth as one in which you are vulnerable at the most intimate levels with one another, literally joining your bodies together in the act of sex. Moreover, you increase intimacy by bringing one another to heights of pleasure that release body chemicals that bond you further together. This is how God made our bodies.
But now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you that God intends your marriage to include sexual intimacy, but the real question is:
Why don’t you two desire sex?
Because you can mentally believe it’s good for you and still not want to do it. (Same reason why I’m not jogging right at this moment.) And I’m not going to advise, “Just schlep yourself to the bedroom, do the hokey-pokey, and check mark that you fulfilled your duty.”
That’s also clearly not God’s plan!
But physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy adults respond well to the pleasure and intimacy that sex with a beloved mate can bring. Plenty of people don’t have an independent drive ahead of time to engage, but they do get into it once things get started. So if you’re not getting into it, why? What’s amiss?
- Have you soaked in erroneous messages that sex is inherent impure or base?
- Do you experience pain or discomfort during sexual activity?
- Did you have past experiences that soured you on sex?
- Do have physiological issues, like depression or hormonal imbalance, that cause you to be disinterested?
- Are you overly self-conscious about your bodies or the act itself?
- Do you have arousal issues, like an inability to lubricate for the wife or erection problems for the husband?
- Is your relationship more like a friendship than a romance?
Those are just some of the possibilities. But I would suggest that if you don’t respond well to sex, then something really is off and needs to be addressed. Because God made us to be sexual beings, desiring physical pleasure and intimacy with our spouse.
I would start with a visit to the doctor, asking for a full check-up to make sure there are not physical obstacles. If the issue is more spiritual teaching on the subject sex, may I suggest grabbing a copy of my devotional book, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage (ebook less than $5), that will walk you through getting a godly, healthy view of sexuality. You may also want to see your pastor or a counselor together to discuss this issue and how you can address it. (Albeit it needs to be one who actually understands God’s design for marriage includes regular sexual intimacy.)
A sexless marriage, over time, can and likely will take its toll on your relational connection. It’s worth pursuing answers now to awaken the love in your marriage.