Does Your Husband Demand Certain Sex Acts?

Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2012

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Recently I received an email from a concerned wife whose husband was demanding she swallow his semen during oral sex.

This is just one of a variety of sexual demands that can show up in the marriage bed.

One person is insisting and the other person is resisting and this dynamic is causing horrendous discord, not just in bed, but in the marriage in general.

For this post, I'm referring to demands that could fall into the broad camp of "sexual variety."

Certainly there are several spouses out there who are receiving no (or very little) sexual intimacy, and some have wondered if they can be more stern (or demanding?) in expressing their need for sexual attention.

That is a big topic.  For another post.

For today, I want to explore this matter of "demanding" certain sexual acts.

Other than someone ordering someone to do something, how else do we determine something is a demand?

Below are some indicators:

  • It is veiled as a request, but the tone and manner in which it is delivered suggest otherwise.  We know when we are being bullied rather than lovingly encouraged.
  • It is laced with the "If you really loved me, you would do this" phrase... a shiny wrapping paper that at its minimum is supposed to soften the blow and at the maximum is meant to corner someone into questioning the depth of their love. "Maybe my husband is right. If I really loved him, I would do this, right?"
  • It potentially pushes the envelope or clearly crosses boundaries of what is sexually acceptable from a biblical standpoint.
  • If the demand is not met, then there is punishment of some sort, usually of the passive-aggressive variety.  "Well, if you won't do this, then we might as well not have sex at all.  I'll just take care of things myself."

We could go into lengthy debate as to why sexual demands even show up in a marriage.

My very unscientific theory would be we can trace demands right back to one or more of the below...

  • Past promiscuity ("My ex-girlfriend did this and I enjoyed it.")
  • Pornography ("I saw this on-line [or heard about it] and I want to try it!")
  • A desire to exert control  ("I will show her who is in charge.")
  • Spiritual ignorance or carelessness ("What is her big hang up about this, anyway?!!")
  • Immature communication skills ("I told her what I wanted. Doesn't she hear what I'm saying?!")

Sexual demands. Coercing someone into doing something they don't want to do sexually.

I know this should go without saying, but if something is outside of God's plan for sexual intimacy in marriage, then obviously the request/demand is sinful. Participating would be compromising on God's standards.

While there are a variety of examples, the one that comes to my mind and heart the quickest is anything that would damage the exclusivity of the sexual relationship.  Threesomes, pornography, spouse swapping.  God's Word is abundantly clear on why this sort of behavior is off limits.

But what about something that doesn't fall outside God's plan, but still is being presented as a demand upon a hesitant spouse?

Let's look at this closer by using the example of the husband demanding his wife swallow his semen during oral sex.

I have heard from many a husband who say that it would mean so much to them to have their wife swallow.

They go into lengthy and heartfelt reasons. They would genuinely feel received and loved by their wife, they would emotionally feel closer in that moment, they would be able to enjoy the oral pleasure to its fullest, and so on.

Those are all valid expressions of why they like it -- and we could easily put those reasons on many sexual variety circumstances.  In fact, those whys listed above all are rooted in genuine God-honoring emotions, right?  I have a few whys of my own as to some things I enjoy sexually with my husband.

The problem arises when the why -- even a God-honoring why -- drifts into justification for turning a sexual request into a sexual demand.

We are diving into treacherous waters whenever we demand something sexually that our spouse clearly has reservations about.

Pleasure at all costs can hardly be what God envisioned, right?

"But the Bible doesn't say oral sex is wrong!  The Bible doesn't say a wife swallowing her husband's semen is wrong!"

Such pleas, though ringing with rock-solid truth, are hopelessly hollow when we sift them through these verses:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

"[The Word of God] judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."  (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Love must always be our guiding compass.

Requesting something in a tone of love? I don't see anything wrong with that.  Demanding it?  Well, obviously by this point in the post, you know what I think about that.

And just for the record, lest anyone think I'm picking too harshly on husbands who are demanding certain sexual acts, I do think we as wives must always sift our refusals through those above verses as well.

Again, I'm talking about sexual requests that do not fall outside God's parameters for sexual intimacy in marriage.

If you are refusing something simply to be spiteful or manipulative -- rather than because of legitimate concerns, reservations or difficulties -- then I think your refusal grieves God's heart too.

Just as a request should be made with a heart motive of love and kindness, a refusal should be given with the same tone of authentic love.

Deep abiding sexual intimacy is drenched in open, vulnerable and compassionate communication.

God's always looking at the motive of the heart. Always.

Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.


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26 Responses to
“Does Your Husband Demand Certain Sex Acts?”

  • workinprogress says: November 16th, 2012 at 9:23 am

    This just makes me angry. A husband (or wife) who demands ANYTHING in bed is being insensitive and unloving toward the hesitant spouse. In the example you're using, I can't imagine such a wife even wanting to give her husband oral stimulation at all if that is his attitude. If he could accept what she is willing to do and show appreciation, she might just begin to expand her comfort level. The demands are just clouding the whole act with stress and resentment. From my own personal perspective, it was a long time before I was willing to give my husband any kind or oral sex, even though he was always very willing and generous with me. He never complained and never pressured. After a while, I decided that I really wanted to please him in the same way that he was pleasing me. I do not however want him to ejaculate in my mouth, and he is always very sensitive and understanding about this. Recently though, I'm finding myself not only pleasuring him orally more, but contemplating letting him ejaculate in my mouth. If he were pressuring me, I would feel hurt, angry and manipulated, but instead, he is very appreciative which makes me want to please him even more. Honestly, if these kinds of demands are being made, a couple needs to seek out a counselor. It doesn't sound like a healthy marriage at all.

  • Aimee says: November 16th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    My abusive ex-husband used to really put the pressure on me to do things sexually that I did not want to do and I believe it all stemmed from his viewing of porn. And if I hesitated or said no, he labeled me frigid and just "no fun." And I came to believe it, thinking I was abnormal.

    My husband I'm with now is completely different. I for the longest time did not give him oral even though he always does that for me, but he never asked me too either. The thought of giving oral brought back too many memories for me of being forced to do it and my ex holding me until I finished.

    My new husband on the other hand has never, ever demanded anything of me sexually and from the beginning only wanted to please me. It was me that decided one time while making love that I really wanted to pleasure him orally and I now truly enjoying doing it for him. But we use it as foreplay and he has never asked nor seems to want me to swallow. He would rather climax during intercourse.
    Side note: I cannot come during intercourse so he always brings me to climax before he does and he always wants to climax inside of me.

    There should never be sexual demands between a husband and a wife nor should there be punishment if one is turned down when asking the other to do something they are not comfortable with.
    That is not a healthy relationship, it is controlling and quite possibly abusive. I know, I've been there and now being in a healthy marriage with mutual love and respect, there are no demands made of the other in any aspect of the marriage, and that is how it should be.

    Great post as always! :)

  • ScottW says: November 16th, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    " ex holding me until I finished"

    That sounds like sexual assault.

  • Paul H. Byerly says: November 16th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Julie - Are you ready for a comment storm? 😉

    I agree with you on this, and I think you did a good job. I think your reasons list is very good.

    The argument (there is a thread with hundreds of posts about this on TMB right now) is that the way a man learned of a sex act is irrelevant. I don't buy that, but a lot of guys are trying to sell it. If she has forgiven him, then how he learned of it (especially porn or past girlfriends) should not matter. I keep saying forgiveness does not end consequence, but that's not popular.

    You are right on with the issue of love - how can love demand something sexually? I can't imagine enjoying something my wife was doing sexually if I knew it was offensive to her.

  • Ron says: November 16th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Very insightful piece. As the husband of a DW that prefers our marriage bed to be vanilla - it is a very difficult subject to address at times. I am always the one to initiate new ideas, but don't ever do it with demands or guilt. I have realized (over 17+ years of marriage) that new bedroom ideas are like seeds that need to be nurtured and watered before there is any need for action. To say to her "I demand we try this" would backfire in my face and make it even harder to try in the future. To carry the metaphor further, the soil needs to be fertile to plant any seed. Why would my wife want to try any act if I was being a jerk about it? That would be like planting stuff in Georgia Red Clay. I've found that ideas for the MB take years before comfort is there to try. And guess what - some become part of the routine and some do not. That is the great thing about being married to your spouse - you grow together!

  • JulieSibert says: November 16th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting! Really appreciate it. I know this is a complex issue and hard to address every circumstance in one post. That's why I really tried to bring it back to the question, "Is love the guiding compass?" It has to be for sure if we want anything to be endearing and mutually valued and God honoring.

    Thanks again!

  • jsr says: November 16th, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Demands like above can definitely be considered unloving, stressful and damaging. However, the bible is pretty clear about wives. Be subject to your husbands in all things. Even when the husband is ungodly. Unless by submitting to him you would be disobeying God, but that is not what this post was including. If you chose poorly by marrying your husband or things have spiralled into a poisonous dynamic, submitting can feel pretty awful. But the bottom line is you either choose to obey God or obey your feelings. Rebellion against God's design of husband/wife roles is at the heart of feminism. I still see a lot of feminism on Christian sites, often disguised as insubordination in the name of love.

  • JulieSibert says: November 16th, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    We'll have to agree to disagree on a few things @jsr, but appreciate you stopping by.

    I think the nature of some sexual "demands" really push the limits and would be considered abusive, at which point a wife very much would be wise to approach the elders of her church for support rather than just sitting back and submitting to such abuse.

  • J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) says: November 16th, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Great post, Julie. I also hear from spouses who have had sexual demands given to them. That's not the nature of godly, healthy sexuality in marriage.

    The problem also with asserting a demand as "Here are all the reasons I want to do ___..." is that your mate might also have their own list of "Here are all the reasons why I don't want to do ____..." If you merely appeal to your own pleasure, it's not usually a convincing argument because it says that your own desires are more important than your spouse's. However, if you can make a case why something should be included in your sex life (that isn't unbiblical) that behooves your partner or increases the intimacy between the two of you, that is far more focused on what should be the guiding principle.

    Beautifully done!

  • Paul H. Byerly says: November 17th, 2012 at 1:10 am

    jsr - Sapphira agreed to lie with her husband Ananias. God killed her for that sin. I submit based on this that the Bible does not require a woman to be subject to her husband when he is being ungodly.

    But I suppose it's nice for the guy if he can sell that to his wife. No actually I don't, I want a real woman, not a puppet.

  • Mr. Earl says: November 17th, 2012 at 10:25 am

    My DW learned how to let me finish climaxing when she is giving me OS because when I am giving her a climax she holds onto my head for dear life! But she removes, not swallows. Since I am delighted to drink her, I hope we can work up to mutuality, with the help of coconut oil and flavored lube. But demand? NO!

  • MinisterofIntenseSupplication says: November 17th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I've learned over the 15 years of marriage that demanding is not the way to get her to do what I want in the bed. Patience, love, and nurturning her in LM and non-sexually outside of the bedroom is. With that said it is no less painful and frustrating to know that me and my wife still are not exercising all the freedom and pleasure that can be found in our marriage bed. If any group of people should be able to freely practice it should be us who do it within God's covenant of marriage.

  • Evan says: November 18th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Very well done, Julie. And adding the line, " I do think we as wives must always sift our refusals through those above verses as well.", completes it. And I agree with 'workinprogress" "Honestly, if these kinds of demands are being made, a couple needs to seek out a counselor. It doesn’t sound like a healthy marriage at all." But if requests are always met with "no", then I have to believe the same rule applies. "It doesn't sound like a healthy marriage at all." Like you said it needs to be sifted by those same scriptures, not just our feelings. If we were never to do anything we weren't comfortable with, we would have never learned how to walk. We'd probably still be living at home; well, no, I wouldn't be at home; it wasn't comfortable there. And of course everything else about growing up I had to be a little bit pressued to do. Speak in Public? yea, right. I would never have got close to that one without some pressure. Maybe my experience with growing up was not like yours, but I found it wasn't that much different than most kids, and it was pressure and encouragement that made it happen. So lets get over this "comfort zone"- which really means "what I want" - thing and sift it through the scriptures and consider showing love to our spouses.

  • Rosemary says: November 18th, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    I can't imagine trying to pressure or insist on any kind of sex act that my husband didn't want to try, nor can I imagine him treating me that way. It seems to me that only a very insensitive (or possibly sadistic) person could derive pleasure from an act knowing that there was no enjoyment in it (and possibly some discomfort or even repugnance) for the partner.

  • Larry B says: November 18th, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks Julie for taking on the macro issue of sexual demands within a loving marriage and in specifically addressing oral sex. (This demand of swallowing is more prevalent than many people may realize.)

    Spouses ought not make demands or use coercion in their loving sexual relationship. However, honest and open communication (without fear) can lead to compromises that respect both spouses' needs, concerns and desires. Win-win compromises can be reached.

    Pardon me for being explicit here. Specifically, the husband that demands his wife swallow every time during fellatio is wrong and is not being considerate of his wife. But, what is sometimes overlooked or minimized is that the wife who absolutely refuses to ever let her husband ejaculate inside her mouth is also being very inflexible and needlessly rigid in her thinking and attitude. As you, Julie, pointed out in your essay two years ago, semen is not poisonous.

    Obviously, the man can be terribly inconsiderate of his wife during the act if he chooses to be. But, for many married couples who have a positive attitude towards the intimacy and the shared vulnerability and respect during oral sex, the act is a beautiful expression of love. It is not in any way "demeaning" to the wife for those couples.

    How about a win-win compromise, husbands and wives?! For those times, when you both want him to climax during fellatio, how about some of the time letting him release inside his wife's warm, wet mouth? Not every time, but on some (not infrequent) occasions. As to swallowing, that really is in many cases just a request to be allowed to freely finish in her mouth. Wives, if they want, can simply let the semen run out of their mouth. (Overcome the mental block and you will find that physically it is no big deal.)

    Sadly, this specific issue is a source of conflict in many marriages where neither spouse is willing to compromise. Meet each other halfway and you can make the oral sex a joyous, tender and playful part of your lovemaking!

  • jsr says: November 18th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Pretty lame example Paul, especially since I said she should obey God rather than her husband when it comes to sin.
    Actually 1 Peter 3:1 is the basis for my statement when the husband is ungodly. Like I said, there is a lot of feminism among Christians. You can really see it when someone tries to find a way to rationalize that the Bible does not really mean what it says about submission.

  • a needless source of conflict in a loving marriage | larrysmusings says: November 19th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    [...] Thanks Julie for taking on the macro issue of sexual demands within a loving marriage and in specifically addressing oral sex.  (This demand of swallowing is more prevalent than many people may realize.) [...]

  • Observer says: November 20th, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I recently found this site and began going through some previous posts. They have been helpful. Thanks for your godly insight on several topics not discussed in church.
    The current topic has been thought provoking. I want to be a godly husband to my wife in all areas of our life together. We met each other at a christian college. We have been married for 13 years. We were both virgins when we got married. We never even kissed until we were engaged. Out of consideration for my tired wife we waited until the day after our wedding to have sex. (Even though that was incredibly hard for me.). That pattern of deferring to my wife's needs would continue throughout our marriage.
    I have always wanted to try different things in the bedroom but my wife has been very hesitant. It took several years before we tried a different position (girl on top). She refused to French kiss or do oral sex (receiving or giving or 69). In our early years of marriage I wanted to have sex daily with longer sessions on the weekends, but because of my wife's lack of desire and interest in sex, we had sex only a few times a week and mostly quickies. We are both attractive and very physically fit so I didn't understand why our sex life was so bad.
    Out of desperation and frustration I turned to porn for answers. It started out subtly. I was looking for what I was doing "wrong" in bed through articles and then it led to videos until I was participating in something that I would never have thought I could.
    Fast forward a few years. We had kids. My sin continued for several years. I kept it a secret all that time. Finally God broke me and I confessed my sin to my wife and told her about my struggles.
    Recently my wife has allowed me to give her oral sex and she for the first time in her life had an orgasm. She now has orgasms regularly with oral sex. She still doesn't allow French kissing or give me oral sex though. I don't want to place "demands" on her but I do have an imagination and have many requests. I wish my wife had some enthusiasm, creativity and was at least a little bit uninhibited and more giving of her love physically.
    The world would say that if you are unsatisfied sexually then move on, but God has called us to be faithful for His glory. When requests get rejected over and over again and imagination stifled living for God is hard to do.
    Several questions for you and for readers.
    1. If a request is made and it is rejected, does that request become a demand if I try to plead (or give good reasons) for my request?
    2. Off topic - Is reading sex articles in magazines or online sinful if I am only seeking to apply any info to help our sex life together? (For example reading an article about "5 new things to try in bed.")

  • JulieSibert says: November 20th, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Hi @Observer... thank you for stopping by... I'm sorry for the struggles and pain you've experienced in your marriage. My opinion on your question is this...

    1. I don't think it is a "demand" if you are simply trying to generate conversation and express your honest desires about why you want to do something. Even so, if your wife continues to decline these requests and if they are reasonable requests, then she is going to have to give account for that to the Lord. I know that is of little consolation in the moment, but I don't think you can force her to do something.

    2. Personally, I would steer clear of reading sex articles in secular (mainstream) magazines, especially when there are so many Christian resources, especially books and websites, on sexual intimacy. The problem with mainstream resources is they may suggest things that fall outside of God's parameters for sexual intimacy, and the audience these resources are directed at are singles as well as married people.

  • hubbyforher says: November 20th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    This is a comment to observer. First of all, I think your heart is great, that you truly want to be sensitive to your wife. I think that it is appropriate for you to request dialogue with your spouse about things in the marriage bed where there may be a lack of consensus. But don't bring those things up when you're naked and in the sack. Instead, pick a time and location that is more safe for your spouse when and where she'll feel less pressure.

    Lastly, it's a good idea to look into a Christian counselor who has experienced with sexual issues if you feel like things are stuck. He/she may provide a safe place for the two of you to learn how to communicate with each other better in this area.

    Am praying for you brother. You have a heart that God can work with, and that's an excellent place to be!

  • Dave 2 says: November 23rd, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    It truly can be exasperating when a high and low desire couple are husband and wife. It is even more frustrating when the high desire partner leans toward adventure and experimentation, otherwise called variety, in their sex life. It is even more difficult when the two of you are unable to talk about the issue. How many times can you revisit a topic before you begin to sound obsessed or are perceived as boderline perverted by the reluctant partner and they begin to lose respect for you. It's a very stressful situation to be in because the act in question is tied to pleasure, and sexual pleasure at that. It's not like refusing to eat meat and go vegan for your health. Your decision is affecting another person's sexuality and limiting the bonding process and their shared sexual pleasure. We need to be very careful when we issue a blanket refusal and are not willing to discuss our reasons behind them. We also should be willing to consider maybe, in the future, but not now. Oftentimes we are not talking about something as emotionally charged as anal, swallowing, or being lightly bound. It could be as simple as above; french kissing and oral on the husband. Our bodies may belong to each other by the marriage covenant, but we still have the right to establish boundaries and limits. We do need to remeber to be considerate of our partner's wishes, desire and wants to though. And considerate doesn't mean submitting to them, it means having a honest willingness to give them fair consideration and frequent reconsideration. We can all change our minds in time, even the person with the "demand."

  • Lorraine says: November 24th, 2012 at 7:16 am

    After reading many posts like these, it's clear that some husbands have a very superficial understanding of their rights as a husband. Frankly, some want to position of Jesus in the marriage, but they don't want to serve as he did. Eph 5:25 (NIV) states "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Furthermore, Jesus came to serve not to be served (Matt 20:28). And though some might argue that there's no scripture that says "Thou shalt not swallow"I think it's important to remember the principle in 1 Cor 8:9-13 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall. The point isn't to make the weak people see the wisdom of your ways, but to bear patiently with one another. And of course, love does not demand it's own way (1 Cor 13:5 NLT).

  • landschooner says: November 26th, 2012 at 4:06 am


    Frankly, the Lord demands our very lives be devoted to Him. I don't disagree with the verses you pointed out. How can I? But what you present is incomplete as well. Christ came to serve and not to be served. That's true. But you seem to be implying that Christ would have no issue with a lukewarm response to Him. But Rev 3 (Laodicea. ) has Christ spitting out the lukewarm.....

    2 Cor 5:14 says that we should no longer live for ourselves but for Him.

    Why should we live for Him? He didn't come to be served. Why would He spit us out if we are not devoted to Him?

    I don't think a husband should demand a SPECIFIC act. I DO however believe a husband should insist, and yes, even demand a spouse to be sexual and interested. That's a big part of what marriage is by definition and sex, by 1 Cor 7 is an obligation of marriage.

  • landschooner says: November 26th, 2012 at 4:16 am

    "I can’t imagine trying to pressure or insist on any kind of sex act that my husband didn’t want to try, nor can I imagine him treating me that way. It seems to me that only a very insensitive (or possibly sadistic) person could derive pleasure from an act knowing that there was no enjoyment in it (and possibly some discomfort or even repugnance) for the partner."

    I agree with the discomfort and repugnance points. But the No enjoyment? My wife takes Great pleasure in backrubs and footrubs that I give her. I get ZERO enjoyment from these for myself. I do however enjoy pleasing her. (massages are NEVER sexual in my house but they are almost daily occurrences)

    Additional thought. What if I was repulsed by footrubs? Stinky feet in my hands? Maybe I might want to work on that. She shouldn't DEMAND it, but why can't I do that for her?


  • Nunia bizness (jk) says: June 19th, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    When a higher drive spouse is requesting attention from the lower driven spouse, it eventually SOUNDS as if the higher driven spouse is being demanding. Unless the lower drive person decides to "change their mind set" (view and opinion) it will most assuredly ALWAYS appear demanding. Eventually, it will lead to animosity and resentment if the lower driven spouse never realizes what they're missing out on!
    HHHmmm.... constant anger for both or constant love every day?

  • Leah says: November 27th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I think forcing your wife to do new sexual acts is wrong, personally i just go along with everything my husband wants to do to me .

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