Intimacy in Marriage

Encouraging Christian Women toward Healthy Sexual Intimacy

5 Things Husbands Do that Turn Their Wives OFF Sexually

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morning routineI'm often accused of rallying around sexually-deprived husbands (figuratively, mind you) way more than I come to the defense of the wives who are doing the refusing.

Guilty as charged. I admit it.

The emails of exasperated husbands flood into my in-box, and I find myself wanting to have long heart-to-heart conversations with their wives about the cost of neglected sexual intimacy.

(It's not like I can't relate. I was once a wife long ago who was doing the neglecting, so we would definitely have that kindred soul thing going on).

Yes, I do tend to write in the direction of wanting wives to stop going on lock down when it comes to sex.

Even so, I get that there are things husbands do (or don't do) that make it emotionally and physically difficult for their wives to connect with them sexually.

Husbands, here are 5 things that really turn wives off sexually...

1.  Lack of personal hygiene.

I'm not saying she never looks out at you all sweaty and mowing the lawn in your faded college shirt and doesn't think to herself, "Man, I want some of that!"

BUT, in general, if you want her to get naked with you, you better be taking care of the basics...

  • Shower often and wash your hair
  • Brush your teeth often
  • Keep your fingernails and toenails clean and trimmed
  • Trim hairs growing out of your nose and ears
  • Wear clean and appropriately fitting clothing
  • Come to bed smelling at least clean and maybe even with a little cologne on

Here's the kicker:  Don't just pay attention to personal hygiene when you want sex.  That compounds it all as a big turn off. "He's willing to clean himself up when he wants in me, but I'm really not worth it the rest of the time he's around me."   That's what she's thinking.

2.  Looking at porn.

Wives hate it when their husbands look at porn.

Any wife who says she "doesn't mind" or that she "likes it" is lying or deceived.

If and when you as a husband gaze upon the pornographic images of women and/or anyone in a sexually charged situation, it devalues your wife.

She feels alone.

She feels like she doesn't measure up.

She views what you've done as adulterous, even if she won't come right out and say it.

Pornography in any form (on your phone, tablet, computer, television, DVDs, magazines) diminishes and ultimately destroys any hope of authentic and profound sexual intimacy with your wife.  Same goes with visiting strip clubs or "adult entertainment" venues with scantily-clad waitresses or dancers.

You can't have it both ways.

You can't have phenomenal sex with the woman you are in a covenant relationship with AND simultaneously feed your porn habit.   You. Can't. Do. It.   Any sex you have with your wife is going to be medicore at best and non-existent at worst.

3. Wanting someone to join the two of you in bed.

I know some of you may think it is outlandish that I would even suggest there are husbands requesting this sort of thing, but it does happen.  I personally know wives whose husbands have thought it "completely reasonable" that they invite another woman (or, in some cases, another man) into their bed.

Sometimes, the husband wants a threesome.  Sometimes he just wants to watch his wife sexually with another person.

Some husbands will go to great lengths to make such a request more palatable, but mark my words, your wife doesn't want to do it.  Same goes for spouse swapping or anything else along those lines.

And if she does agree to do it, that doesn't make it right and it doesn't mean she likes the idea.  More than likely what it means is she sees no other alternatives to salvaging her marriage with you.

As a husband, you should be the protector of your marriage bed and a guardian of your wife's heart.  Don't put her in any position where she has to compromise her values (or yours) by partnering with you in committing the sin of adultery.

4. Neglecting her emotionally.

I know this is an often over-generalized point:  Wives need emotional connection to feel loved and guys need physical connection to feel loved.

Maybe a better way to state it is that a marriage void of emotional intimacy and physical intimacy will be prone to big chasms of distance, contempt and obligatory sex.

She'll do it.  But she'll be doing it out of duty, rather than out of feeling profoundly connected to you.

This isn't about bartering for sex or setting up patterns in your marriage where the mindset is "I'll do this for you, if you do this for me."

Rather, it's about recognizing that there are no short cuts to authentic relationship.  Fabulously delightful sex is the result of two people who have built a fabulously intimate friendship.

5. Downplaying the importance of her sexual pleasure.

Yes, more than likely, it will take her longer to climax than you.

That's not always the case, but studies and good ol' practical experience reveal that the clitoris is a bit more finicky than the penis.  Add to this that women often have a harder time switching gears and getting in the mood for sex, and it's no surprise that her having an orgasm is rarely going to be quick.

Go figure.

Even so, when sex is just about your own personal pleasure and you are only "in it to win it" for yourself, she will continue to see sex as a chore to just check off her list.  "Get in, get done and let's move on" will be the lens through which she looks.

She may even fake orgasm to either protect your ego or to just bring a quick resolution to the whole ordeal.

I once went to a wedding where the pastor looked directly at the groom during the ceremony and said, "I'm going to tell you something young man.  You better satisfy her sexually or someone else will."

Now, we can debate how appropriate the timing of his comment was, but there is much wisdom resonating in his words.  He wasn't saying she has a right to go elsewhere for her sexual satisfaction. He was saying that her orgasm matters and it's her husband's responsibility and privilege to bring her that intense pleasure.

Become a student of your wife's body and never stop learning what it will take to please her sexually.  Encourage her to tell you and show you what it will take for her to climax.

If you are a husband and you read through this list of 5 things, do you see where you could become more conscientious?

And a word of encouragement to all you wives... if indeed you have a husband who is paying close attention to these 5 things and striving to honor you with his heart, time and body, are you reciprocal?  Don't leave him wondering if you truly love him. He needs your love not just in word and theory, but in sexual action and attitude, too.

Turning each other on sexually is worth it!  And it's so much more fun than turning each other off.

Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage blog. 

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August 25th, 2013 by