The Sexual Sin No One Will Talk About

Posted on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

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sinI once heard someone say that when a married couple mutually values and nurtures sexual intimacy, then sex is really not an "issue" in the marriage.

In other words, healthy sexual intimacy is so woven into the fabric of how they do life that they barely notice it as a separate entity.

The positive effects of all that great sex seem to show up throughout the marriage, yet a couple wouldn't necessarily be able to pinpoint such benefits.   The marriage is simply characterized by a shared sense of  being on the "same page" and the "same team," often with a fair amount of joy and grace.

On the other hand, if sex is rarely or never happening, it usually is a big issue. A very big issue.

The lack of sex permeates every aspect of the marriage, tarnishing even the simplest of interactions with disdain and resentment.

"I don't really want to take out the garbage or do anything for you.  I am so tired of being your roommate. I am so tired of feeling rejected."

The rejected spouse doesn't necessarily speak out loud those sentiments (or any resemblance of them), yet the marriage is characterized by the weight of disillusionment and disappointment.  The lack of sex affects everything.

What does this have to do with sin?

More often than not, when we think of sexual sin, particularly in the context of marriage, what comes to mind?  Pornography and adultery, right?

If we lined up 100 people and asked each to name a sexual sin that gravely impacts marriage, I would bet my last dollar that the majority would say either pornography or adultery (or both).

Would anyone mention the sin of ongoing sexual refusal?

We are incredibly quick to identify pornography and adultery as sexual sins that damage and, in some cases, destroy marriages.

We are painfully slow, though, to identify sexual refusal as a sin. Yet we know... we know... that this sin too damages and, in some cases, destroys marriages.

We need look no further than our own marriages (if sex is not mutually valued) or those of people we know.  We need to look no further than the advice column that shows up in our local newspaper, or in the conclusions and research that spill forth from the counseling industry (Christian and secular).

When sex is rarely or never happening in a marriage, it causes division, discouragement and, in some cases, divorce.  It's a serious issue, to say the least.

And more than being an issue, ongoing sexual refusal is a sin.

God clearly tells (and reminds) married couples to have sex... and not just to have it, but to have it often.   He gives no other biblical options for a married person to seek sex except with their spouse.

"Have it often with your spouse and don't have it with other people" is a mantra that permeates all corners of the Bible.

Is it more or less serious than pornography or adultery?  In God's book, sin is sin is sin.

I definitely think sexual refusal is more subtle than pornography or adultery.  But its subtlety does not make it any less severe.  And it doesn't make it any less painful.

Ironically, though, this sin of sexual refusal -- rather than grieving our Christian hearts -- commonly is fodder for comedy.  Girlfriends gather for wine night or Bunco and laugh at each other's sarcastic remarks about their husbands always wanting it.

Or we flip on nightly sitcoms, where marital sex inevitably is pigeonholed into a predictable scene of a goof-ball panting husband wanting sex and his oh-so-much-more-mature wife rolling her eyes, annoyed with what she sees as nothing more than his animalistic and unrefined desires.

Now, far be it from me to say that this sin of sexual refusal is an easy one to acknowledge, repent of and correct.  It's not easy.  Maybe not any easier than repenting of pornography or infidelity.

And I'm not one to throw stones.

In my first marriage, I was the one carelessly not nurturing our sexual intimacy, and I have no doubt such carelessness is what compelled my then husband to march us into divorce court.  Sure, it would have been nice if he would have found it in his heart to stop at a counselor's office long before that, but he didn't.  And at that point, my pleading fell on deaf ears.

The damage was done.

So, suffice to say, I am intimately aware of some of the costs of sexual refusal.

I learned a lot from that pain and regret, which is probably why sex in my current marriage is happening often and enjoyed immensely by both of us.  (In case you were wondering, I still did repent of my careless ways and apologized to my ex-husband, even though I was already remarried).

If you are married and the sin of sexual refusal is laying claim to your marriage, why not humbly and courageously give repentance a shot before you're facing regrets?  There are countless couples who have been where you are, and have found that on the other side of repentance is tenacious and God-filled hope.


God is about healing brokenness and making all things new.

But He won't do it for us.  We have to partner with Him in that.

For the sake of marriages, Christians have a tremendous opportunity (and responsibility) to stop ignoring (collectively and individually) this sin of sexual refusal.

We have nothing to lose and much to gain through honest dialogue about sex -- and what it means to protect it, savor it, nurture it and pursue it in our marriages.

For more great reading on sexual refusal, check out Paul Byerly's post The Sin the Church Ignores.

Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Categorized as marriage problems, sexual intimacy, sexual intimacy struggles, sexual struggles, Uncategorized

99 Responses to
“The Sexual Sin No One Will Talk About”

  • Buddy Knight says: August 28th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Sex/sexual intimacy is so important that God says that married couples are not to go for long period of time without sex, even for the "good causes" of prayer and fasting! (I Corinthians 7).

    Paul then writes that they must resume relations lest Satan tempt them!

    If things aren't that great:

    1. Consider that it is your Christian obligation to ensure your mate is sexually attended to.
    2. Note that God designed us to become emotionally closer when we "make love". This is a scientific fact. So any refusal eliminates what God designed as a regular "booster shot" to your emotional connection.


  • Robin says: August 28th, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Great article!!

  • AJ Collins says: August 28th, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Great point... all of it! I agree! I have been pained by conversations with women who act like sex is a "privilege" that a man must "earn"... especially since I have been the "higher drive" person in our marriage... hard to hear!

  • Jean says: August 28th, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I only have a climax during oral sex, but my partner does not want to have oral sex with me. I go out of my way to make sure he is satisfied in every way, this leave me feeling rejected and sexual frustrated.

  • Paul H. Byerly says: August 29th, 2013 at 12:05 am

    If you asked 100 marriage bloggers, or marriage minsters, or marriage counsellors, I bet it would be in the top three!

  • JulieSibert says: August 29th, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Definitely @Paul H Byerly... so true.

  • J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) says: August 29th, 2013 at 5:53 am

    I don't want to equate the three. Yet, in a way, sexual refusal communicates a similar message to pornography and adultery--that something or someone else is more important than your spouse, that you're giving away your sexual energy somewhere else with little regard for the damage done to the marriage.

    I think the hard sell for those refusing is that they simply continue with the "I don't wanna" mantra, because it requires extra energy or they don't have a strong drive. But you are so right here, Julie. Ongoing sexual refusal is sin, and God doesn't just leave us with "do it" but wisdom from His Word on how to create enjoyable sexual intimacy with your mate. For those willing to seek it, it can happen.

    Thanks for this excellent post!

  • Mrs. EVB says: August 29th, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Thank you so much for this!

  • Connor says: August 29th, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I honestly wish my wife would read this. I always feel I'm down on the list behind our daughter and her job. Even sometimes behind her family. We always have to have sex on a weekend because she says she's too tired from her job. But honestly, if I could get sex twice a month that would be a huge improvement.

    What's worse is that she doesn't think it's a problem. She says she plans to get better but she never does. She even bought two books about Christian marriage but she hasn't opened them once. Every time I ask her to do something her response is always, "Are you serious?" with an annoyed look on her face. I always feel hurt when she says that.

    But I know if I show her this post, she would get mad at me and give a myriad of excuses of why she doesn't have sex. It's the same story.

  • Angie Grigaliunas says: August 29th, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Thank you for this. Just thank you. You don't even know how validating it is to me.

  • Steve says: August 29th, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Nice post again, Julie. And once again, one that will most likely only be heard by the "choir".

    I'd just like to reinforce what J said: "sexual refusal communicates...that something or someone else is more important than your spouse..." Unfortunately this attitude will be passed on to the next generation as they adopt their parents' lack of healthy sexuality.

    Our church, amazingly, has been preaching through I Corinthians, and though they haven't hit the sexual refusal issue hard enough, imho, I am impressed that we are putting those verses in their correct context--that of giving up our rights to be "right". E.g. we may be "right" about eating meat, but we give up that right for the sake of our brother. We may be justified in refusing our spouse, but we give up that right to serve and bless them, etc. Just hoping that if I surrender my "right" to regular sex, and seek to kill my own selfishness, she might eventually come around?

  • Struggling Wife says: August 29th, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I always read these articles but I never see articles that address things from the side of the refuser. What if you're refusing because sex is rarely satisfying? What if you're refusing because you're tired of being treated poorly until he's in the mood?

    Most of the time that I have sex with my husband it is out of obligation. Over time, resentment builds up because of me feeling like I always have to go out of the way to please him while my needs remain unmet.

  • Chris says: August 29th, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    This is wonderful. Keep on preaching it.

    As a wife who spent a lot of years refusing, I will say that these kinds of posts do have an impact.

    My husband would send me articles and information about the effects of refusal on men and about men's sexual needs. I refused to talk with him about them or even acknowledge having gotten them--but I did read them.

    And I hated them. The surface of my mind dismissed them because they were all trying to convince me that I was wrong. Still, I read them in hopes of finding some way of pointing out why my husband didn't deserve what he wanted. I tried to forget what I'd read. Over time, though, I think these kinds of posts were what softened my heart enough to be able to change.

  • Earl says: August 30th, 2013 at 2:23 am

    Please will you respond to the struggling wife?? We need to also help those of us that are really struggling in marriages and doing our best to support our families yet remain trampled upon.

  • KH says: August 30th, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Julie, this is very well-written. My wife and I have both been guilty of refusing each other. Contrary to what pop-culture portrays (only men wanting intimacy regularly), it hurt my wife just as much, or more, than it hurt me when she was on the receiving end of the refusal. In our fallen, human minds, we have the tendency to downgrade certain sins and make them become "respectable" sins. You're right on target: the affects of refusal pours out into all the other aspects of the marriage relationship and if it's not confronted it will only deteriorate the marriage.

  • JulieSibert says: August 30th, 2013 at 11:49 am

    @Struggling Wife... I have at times addressed the issues you are referring to. In fact, just the other day I wrote a post titled "5 Things Husbands Do to Turn Their Wives Off Sexually." (

    You mention some of the struggles in your marriage... have you talked about these specific things with your husband? Is he aware of the things he could improve upon in order to make sex more pleasurable for you? If not, I encourage you to talk to him and/or write a heartfelt letter, expressing that you do indeed want things to improve, and you want the two of you to work on those things together.

    Overall, I definitely think that when sexual intimacy is a difficult aspect of a marriage, in order for things to significantly improve, it takes the effort of both people.

    It's easy to get stuck in negative patterns. Doing the hard work of setting healthier patterns is indeed hard work, but the pay offs are huge.

  • PA says: August 30th, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you for this blog. Without going into detail, in our marriage we only have sex about 2 or 3 times a year. It's due to a combination of things but not acceptable, and though my wife and I talk about doing better -- we just don't and have just come to accept this version of marriage. This blog is inspirational to try to change things in the future.

  • Greg says: August 30th, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    So very well articulated--thank you for sharing this!

  • Janna says: August 31st, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    It hasn't been until recently that I really realized, my eyes open and repentance occurred, of the sin I was committing by refusing my husband. The majority of the times I felt justified in my "no's", much of what the Struggling Wife was alluding to. There have been different levels of awareness of my "sin" throughout my marriage, from times where I saw what Scripture said and I just didn't care because my husbands actions didn't "deserve" my action in the bedroom, to truly feeling exhausted and feeling like I had nothing to give, to times where I wouldn't say no for such a long stretch, so I felt like I was "giving enough".

    As someone else mentioned, you may be "preaching to the choir", but there may be just the right person, at the right time, "stumble across" your message (directed by a Divine hand), and their life and marriage, will forever be changed by the truth of your words.

  • LL says: August 31st, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I believe the refusal can lead to the other sins mentioned, pornography and adultery.

  • Cecilia says: August 31st, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    How is not wanting to have sex a sin?

  • Jed says: September 1st, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Wow, another great post and an interesting angle. You are right, this is something that we would not hear talked about as a sexual sin. We have all heard about the sin of adultery, We occasionally have heard about the sin of pornography, we hear about the sin of lust, but I heard about the sin of withholding the sex from your spouse only once and then it was over coffee with my preacher, not in Sunday School or church.

    It can and does destroy marriages, it needs to be talked about, it needs to be shown that it is wrong.

    Keep writing Julie, you are a big help to us all!

  • JulieSibert says: September 2nd, 2013 at 7:08 am

    @Cecilia... I don't think occasionally saying no to sex in a marriage is a sin, but I think that needs to be the rare exception, not the rule. When there is consistent ongoing refusal, and there is no reasonable reason as to why (sickness, injury, etc), then I do think that is a sin. God clearly tells married couples to have sex and have it often. Sex is part of marriage, so if someone chooses marriage, they are agreeing with God's design of it, and that includes having sex.

    I'm not saying that sexual struggles and marriage struggles are easy to resolve. Far from it. But a solution isn't to stop having sex.

  • Scott says: September 2nd, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Great, great post. One that should get much more play. While we commonly tell people looking/lusting for others is adultery, we rarely identify refusal as sin or another form of adultery. A looking to something else for what should be satisfied relationally in the marriage. One spouse closing themselves off and being off limits is so common in the couples I talk too, but the spouse (male or female) doing the refusing rarely identifies this as a problem.

    Bottom line, the refusing spouse needs to get to the heart of the refusal, it is just a symptom of an inner emotional/spiritual issue.

    Thanks for the great article. Going to link it to my Facebook page.

  • q.banks says: September 2nd, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Its a terrible thing

  • psc says: September 3rd, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Scott, I believe you are right in saying,"Bottom line, the refusing spouse needs to get to the heart of the refusal, it is just a symptom of an inner emotional/spiritual issue."
    While inner issues may vary from couple to couple, I believe that many of us good hearted spouses have conformed our picture of martial bliss to the world's system. The only way to find contentment in our marriages is being in a right relationship with Jesus Christ and allow Him transform our view of marriage, our spouse, ourselves and the source of true joy and happiness.

  • Seeker says: September 3rd, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Sometimes the issue the refuser acknowledging the problem as refusing. When the refuser only allows sex 3 times a month and the refused wants it at least 3 times a week, it is a problem of refusing. In this situation, the refuser denies that she is refusing although the refused person is sexually starved!

  • Apophia says: September 5th, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Wow! That is a revelation to me! Thank you for sharing

  • Still Working says: September 5th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    @Cecelia... Not desiring sex is not, in itself, sinful. There are too many factors involved to lay that burden on you. However, when not *wanting* sex leads to not *having* sex in marriage, then I believe the Bible is clear that such is not God's design.

    If we define sin by what the Bible says, at some point in time, we have to do business with 1 Corinthians 7, where God, through Paul, very clearly tells *both* husbands and wives to not refuse one another sexually.

    When it comes to sex in marriage, there can be four scenarios.

    a. Both husband and wife want sex.
    b. Husband wants sex, but wife doesn't
    c. Wife wants sex, but husband doesn't
    d. Neither wants sex.

    In the typical marriage, sex only takes place in the first scenario, leaving one of the spouses feeling unloved, undesirable, and even hormonally frustrated. But according to 1 Corinthians 7, sex should take place in the first three scenarios. It should only be withheld in the fourth, when neither wants it, and even then, God warns that the absence of sex should be for a limited time. Frequent sex in marriage is God's design, which is what Julie has been faithfully encouraging.

    If sex isn't happening because *either* the husband or the wife doesn't desire it, then I think the Bible is clear that such is not God's design, and therefore, "missing the mark," which is what "sin" really means.

    I applaud Julie's courage in this blog to remind us all that the *refusal* of marital sex may not only reflect a nonsinful lack of desire, but is also contrary to God's design, and therefore, as much a sexual sin as pursuing sex outside of marriage. A lack of sexual desire is not something to simply accept as "the way it is." We must see it as a marital problem that needs to be addressed.

    God designed sex for marriage and defined marriage in sexual terms ("one flesh"). To have sex outside of marriage is not God's design; to *not* have sex inside of marriage is equally not God's design.

  • Richard says: September 5th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Julie - This is a great article. Now, do you think refusal could be considered passive adultery and thereby has a biblical basis as grounds for divorce?

  • JulieSibert says: September 5th, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    @Richard... That is a valid question and one that is not easily answered. I have thought about it a lot... I mean A LOT!! Because it is a question that often comes up for those of us who blog about sex.

    First of all, one would have to determine what constitutes a sexless marriage. Some people say that if a couple is having sex less than 10 times a year, that's sexless. Whereas other people believe it has to be defined in years, not months... like that sex hasn't happened in years. Obviously, it's an arbitrary judgment as to what constitutes sexless, whereas physical adultery (someone having an affair) is not arbitrary... either they had sex with another person or they didn't. The "sexless" definition is difficult to determine. I will say that what I think some people consider "sexless" is really not sexless. I've had people email me and say that sex 2 times a month is sexless. I wouldn't agree with that sentiment.

    Second, is the person doing the refusing making any effort to acknowledge the sin and repent of it and fix the problem. If we compare this to physical adultery (someone having an affair), there obviously is a difference between someone who is committing adultery and has no intention to "turn away from this sin," compared to someone who has committed adultery, yet is now repenting and striving to heal the marriage. "Technically" from a biblical standpoint, the second scenario would still be grounds for divorce, some would say. Adultery has been committed, so the person who remains would have grounds for divorce. BUT, most people recognize that the second scenario is entirely different than the first scenario. The second scenario obviously has greater chance of a reconciled marriage, so divorce wouldn't be a good option.

    That's my long winded way of saying that we have to consider if the refusing spouse is doing anything to repent and try to improve the situation. If so, then there is still hope.

    Also, have we ruled out any physical or mental issues (hormonal problems, depression, mental illness, etc). Lots of factors going on that have to be considered before just bailing out of the marriage.

    And then of course we have to hold everything up against 1 Corinthians 7:12-16. One interpretation of this would argue that if someone claims to be a believer, yet is clearly ignoring God's command about sex in marriage, then are they really a believer? If we arrive at a conclusion that they are not AND they want out of the marriage, then the believing spouse would not be bound. Clearly, though, the non-believing spouse would need to be the one who would say they want out.

    Now one interpretation that goes further with that scripture is that the spouse doing the refusing can't possibly be a believer AND has already "left" the marriage, even if they are still technically living in the marriage. Some would say that the remaining spouse (the believing spouse) is no longer bound and could grant a divorce. (This is the same argument made when there is domestic abuse happening in a marriage... the abuser has essentially "left" the marriage by being so abusive within it.)

    I know this is all more than you were looking for. As you can tell, I don't feel it's an easy issue. My gut wants to say if someone has endured long-standing and constant sexual refusal, then they are no longer bound in the marriage and could get the heck out. BUT, my heart and soul recognize that it is a more complicated issue, compounded by the fact that each marriage is a unique set of factors, circumstances, etc.

    I'm not even sure if someone can answer this for another person, despite the fact that many people suffering in sex-starved marriages are desperate for a definitive answer.

  • Still Working says: September 6th, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Julie, I wonder if your last response is an attempt to use the Bible as a law-book, interpreting words and phrases as a lawyer would. However, the Bible is a love story, a Divine Romance (with aplogies to Gene Edwards), not a book of statutes. As a husband whose sex life isn't what I would prefer, it would never occur to me that sexual refusal would be grounds for divorce in God's kingdom. Why? Because God has given me my wife as one to love as he loves the Church. For better or for worse, remember? My love for her is not only for her benefit, but also for mine as it helps conform me into the image of Jesus. Rather than trying to discern whether my wife has crossed some legislative line between not enough sex and "sexless," I would prefer to spend my energies trying to make her feel like the most loved person on the planet, whether or not she responds sexually.

  • JulieSibert says: September 6th, 2013 at 7:46 am

    @Still Working... thank you for your comment. In my previous I comment, I was simply trying to respond to a question that those of us who blog about sex often get.... is on-going sexual refusal grounds for divorce?

    With my response, I was trying to point out that it would be quite the stretch to try to argue divorce as justifiable. However, though the Bible is a love story, it also is chock full of commands and statutes as well. It is both a book of unabashed love AND a book of clear instructions. God clearly tells married couples to have sex. If there is no reasonable reason why they couldn't be having sex (illness, injury, etc.) then God wants married couples having sex. It's understandable that someone whose spouse is totally unwilling to have sex would begin to wonder if what they have is truly a marriage.

    I do agree with you too that as spouses we are to be sacrificial and seek to serve our spouse. What if one person does that and the other person is consistently looking at porn and/or having affairs? Do we still tell them, "oh, just keep serving and overlook the adultery." Well, no (at least I don't think most people would do that). I think in that situation, most people would advise the faithful spouse that they need to really consider if their spouse has already "left" the marriage.

    We have to stop minimizing the sin of ongoing sexual refusal... we need to look closely at it and stop pretending like it is not destroying marriages.

    Anyway, as all this dialogue points out, these are not easy issues at all.

    I appreciate your comments! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  • Happy Hour | The Romantic Vineyard says: September 6th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    [...] The Sexual Sin No One Will Talk About – What sins come to mind when you think of sexual sin? You may not have considered this one, and you may practice it from time to time. [...]

  • Susan says: September 7th, 2013 at 6:33 am

    I just want to encourage you to keep saying what needs to be said about sexual intimacy in marriage. I stand here as (former) one of those wives that you are writing about today. If it hadn't been for people like you, Julie, declaring the truth, I would still be denying my husband and myself of the closeness we now share. We had been married almost 25 years before I realized my sin.

    My husband used to tell me what my denial did to him. I didn't believe him. I don't know why. He never lied to me about anything before. It wasn't until I started reading Sheila's, J's, and Julie's blogs and saw that these were women saying the same things my husband always said that I finally was broken.

    Keep telling the truth, Julie, even if you feel like you're "preaching to the choir." You never know the lives you may change.

  • JulieSibert says: September 7th, 2013 at 7:06 am

    @Susan... Thank you for your encouragement Susan! You made my day!

  • Brian Owens says: September 7th, 2013 at 9:56 am

    It's a great article, and the comments just add so much more to the topic. There is an aspect that I wanted to add, a slightly different angle to view this issue from. Husband and wife, married 23 years and going, 4 kids, one kid is out of the house, kid #2 is about to leave, so we are entering the soon to be empty nest phase. And we are still young. I am 49, my wife is 42. The problem is that there is little sex, yes. The biggest problem, in my opinion is the reason for the lack of it. And it is indifference. I will explain. Recently I have entered the "stay at home dad" stage. She went back to work, good salary, but very, extremely busy career, with one week out of 4 out of the country. When at home, it's work 12-14 hours a day. She does try to be as present as she can with the family, especially the kids, and I get help in the house, and all is working out smoothly in that area. It's when we enter the bedroom that the words "indifferent" and "lack of concern" or "uninterested" enter the bed with us. There is just nothing there. I could be sleeping with my old buddy from college, as far as I know. There is no hint, no desire, nothing. At times we talk about this, and she says she has no feelings, as in no emotions, no desire. And I am left empty ended. Yes, few times we had sex, and I always wonder if she only goes through the motion out of compassion, pity or feeling guilty. Trouble is, that is no way to make love to your spouse. Having to beg for something that is reasonably expected isn't going to improve the relationship either. Right now, all July and August have passed, and more than 5 minutes of cuddling nothing else happened. I was hoping (and so was she, I guess) to have a no-kids date and evening at home, and the expectations were high. Then the call came from work, new assignments, flight out tomorrow ( Sunday) and all evening yesterday and all day today, work work work. What troubles me is the fact that our romantic night was cancelled, and that she did not even say one word of "Oh, I am so sorry, honey, I will make it out to you" or something like that. Not a single word. She is in there, working, and it will go that way until she boards the plane on Sunday. So I am left wondering .. is her work so much MORE important than our relationship and our healthy intimate life ? Possible that she cannot find 1 hour for us ? The message is clear and loud, and it is that everything else is more important than "me and her". And this leaves me in a sad spot, and very difficult to handle. Indifference, lack of concern, can be just as difficult as a refusal.

  • Robyn Gibson says: September 8th, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    "And more than being an issue, ongoing sexual refusal is a sin."

    This was great GREAT stuff Julie!

  • Anonymous says: September 10th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I think the world of you admitting that sexual refusal was a key factor in the demise of your first marriage. You are truly one in a million women, as females are taught by society and the clergy that sexual desire is the man's problem, so they can ignore it in marriage with impunity.
    Having said that, please understand my next statement - the only thing that made you pay attention to sex was a divorce. The "stay forever" plan of most Christian couples works against them. I would argue, not to hurt your feelings but to make a point, that you deserved your divorce. No amount of reading articles or pleading on the part of your first husband made you change your mind. It took a crisis to force change. I guess what I'm telling you is that your first husband was well within his rights to initiate a divorce since his view of your marriage ahead was without the sex he needed to be faithful...he did you BOTH a favor. Again, I admire your candor with this subject but I can only question any advice in this area that removes the possibility of divorce as a final option.

  • cme4brain says: September 10th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    @struggling wife: sorry that sex is an obligation for you, but I bet your husband going to work to earn a paycheck is an obligation you benefit from! Too bad you two are so mismatched in your sex drives, but your wifely obligation is clear. This is the best article I have ever seen, I suggest heeding it. How wife put sex on the back burner while they enjoy a home and companion from their husbands! 20 minutes of your time and you get all you dreamed of! All your husband asks is what you promised at the alter! If he can't cheat, you shouldn't say no!

  • cme4brain says: September 10th, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    @ Cecelia- not wanting to have sex is not a sin! Not satisfying your husband when you obligated him to one woman for sex- you- is! Supposed he stopped going to work? Would you like that? If you don't want sex and don't want to live up to your marital obligation (providing sex is as much an obligation for you as not cheating on you is for him) then let him out of the crummy marriage you are creating so he can find someone who wants him! With that risk in mind of your being along (without alimony), I'll bet you could find some time for him.

  • Jim says: September 11th, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Would any former refuser care to tell us all the reason(s) for refusing your spouse ? And if you had children at home during that time, were they aware of what was happening between their parents ?

  • 2into1 says: September 11th, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    @Anonymous. And the two shall become one flesh. What God has joined together let no man put asunder. It's nice to look for loopholes in the Bible to justify what we want to do, but I don't know of anywhere where either the letter *or* the spirit of scripture authorizes divorce due to lack of sex...or lack of money...or lack of meaningful communication...or lack of romance, etc. Marriage is the Earthly image of God's union with his Bride. If we check out because we don't get what we want in bed, what does that say about the God/Church oneness? We are all fallen sinners, and marriage is about forgiveness, forebearance, and love, which always hopes, always perseveres. Marriage should be the one place where we are forgiven for our sins, even the sin of withholding sex. I feel loved when my wife desires me sexually, but her low libido makes that hormonally difficult. She, on the other hand, feels loved when I rub her feet. Now, I can complain that she doesn't want an explosive orgasm or I can love her where she rubbing her feet. David said, "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing." In Christ, our needs *are* met, even when our spouses don't do their part. By abiding in Christ, with gratitude for what we have, we can continue to love each other until death us do part, even if we don't get lucky when we want. I don't believe in God's kingdom, lack of sex is ever justification for divorce.

  • Martha says: September 13th, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    It's more of a question then a comment. We have been married for 30+ years; we only have sex maybe 2-3 times a year; we are both ok with that as we both lack sexual drive; I think it's because of the medications we both are on. We kiss, touch and cuddle, but is it wrong that we are not having sex?

  • Are You Uncomfortable? | The Forgiven Wife says: September 15th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    […] that their sexual refusal and gate-keeping are sinful. (Julie Sibert has a great piece on this at Intimacy in Marriage.) Carefully read 1 Corinthians 7:1 – 7 (and then read Paul and Lori Byerly’s “Sexual […]

  • JulieSibert says: September 16th, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    @Martha... thanks for the comment and question. It sounds like you still do have intimate contact and you mention that you are still having sex 2-3 times a year. You are right that there are some medications that affect sex drive, as does age for some people, etc.. While you would not want to suddenly alter any medications, you might want to talk to your health care providers to see if there are ways to boost sex drive either by changing medications, supplementing other ones, etc.

    I interpret 1 Corinthians 7 to mean that as long as a married couple is physically able to have sex, they should strive to have sex. That being said, I think what is encouraging about your situation is that it does not sound like there is discord between the two of you with the drop in sexual activity.

    That being said, I encourage you to seek God and ask Him to show you if this is an area where your marriage could benefit from more intimate sexual and sensuous contact, even if not actually having intercourse. Ultimately, you and your husband, with God's guidance, will arrive at understanding what sexual intimacy looks like for your particular marriage.

    Thank you again for commenting! I really appreciate it.

  • dad says: September 19th, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I am a bit nervous, for I have just finally got the nerve up to ask you some questions. I have a beautiful, gorgeous wife of 20+ years who I am absolutely head over heals in love with. We have 3 beautiful children who all are school age with the oldest in high school. We have never been unfaithful to each other, and have high christian values. When I read your bio, my wife and I have very similar traits and values as your family.

    I would like some suggestions on how to break the ice to my bride on how to communicate with each other about our sexual relationship, and yes about spicing things up our household. We both come from conservative families who don't mention the sex word, and I feel we are stuck in a rut, a BIG RUT. We enjoy each others company averaging ounce a week, but it is lets get it over and done with in 30 minutes. We pretty much stick with the same routine, over and over, with not much foreplay, and never any follow up afterward.
    We both work full time, and try to keep up with 3 busy children. My wife is by far my better half, and like I said before I absolutely adore her. I just want our relationship to grow both spiritiaully, romantically, and sexually with the women I cherish and love. In a few years our children will be going of to college, and I want to have a intimate relationship with the women that I love.
    The last thing I want is to appear as an ungrateful husband and or father, because I am not. I thank the Lord each and every day for all of my blessings. I just want to be intimate with my wife, and seriously I don't know how to approach the situation. I need to bring up the subject some how with out making her feel demeaned, or unappreciated, or even undervalued in any way. I want our marriage to blossoom, prosper, and yes become VERY intimate in every way possible.
    I would appreciate all the advise you can give.



  • JulieSibert says: September 19th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    @dad... thanks for your comment. I encourage you to write your wife a letter, with the goal of it being a springboard into more verbal conversation. Tone would be drenched in love, of course, which doesn't sound like it would be difficult because you obviously love your wife tremendously. Yet, it is a reasonable expectation that you want more intimacy. Key would be to frame it that your desire isn't just about sex... it's about wanting to connect on all levels with the woman you love. So, it's about all forms of intimacy... emotional, physical, spiritual.

    Express to her also that you want the two of you to spend more time going on occasional dates and nurturing your friendship. Reassure her that it is because how much you appreciate her and love her that you want the two of you to continue to strengthen your relationship.

    As for sexual intimacy, I am wondering if she is experiencing pleasure as much as she could be. In other words, maybe try more foreplay. She may resist this at first, but it may go a long way to help her relax and really enjoy sex (thus looking forward to it more). So, more caressing, more backrubs, more light touches all over her body, etc. You may have to be proactive in carving out this time together.

    I know it can be difficult to change patterns and routines, but if those patterns aren't really building a closer bond, it's perfectly understandable why you want them to change. In other words, you could keep doing what you're doing, not rock the boat, not bring the matter up, but then you will keep getting what you're getting.

    If on the other hand you courageously start to get vulnerable with her about your desires and needs... and that it's not just about sex, but about genuinely connecting with her because of your deep love for her... that might be the wake up call she needs.

    Anyway, I would start with the above, stay the course, pray for your marriage, ask your wife how you can better pray for her and love her, etc.

    If after all that she still shows no interest in fostering deeper intimacy, I encourage you to suggest counseling. If she won't go, then go on your own. Might be what is needed to help her see that you will do whatever you can to not just have an "okay" marriage, but to genuinely have a great marriage that will outlast the parenting years.

    Hope this is helpful! Thanks for reaching out!

  • WH says: September 21st, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    What a marvelous reply to "Dad", Julie. I hope he takes it to heart.

    What I might add is that Dad most certainly is entitled to the relationship he's desiring. He looks down the road and just sees dwindling desire on the part of his wife, perhaps leaving him vulnerable to temptations. What he needs to stress to his wife is that she cannot continue this way, she may be placing too much emphasis on things other than her husband (read: children, work). If she's not responsive to his requests, she really can't expect him to be the father, provider, companion and everything SHE wants if she's not doing what HE wants. What I'm saying is that it's been 20 years of an investment by him in the marriage, it's time he saw some return on his good behavior. If counseling doesn't work soon, he shouldn't wait another 20 years to expect what he needs as a good husband. A lot of Christian wives think they can demand that their husbands kill themselves providing a near-perfect home for them, yet let the ONE THING a man needs from his wife alone will go unattended. "Dad" sounds like a great guy that needs to speak up about the importance of his wife's investment in their marriage, and speak up with a deadline.

  • WH says: September 23rd, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    @2into1: I know what I'd tell you...if a sexless marriage is OK for you, enjoy yourself. I, however, believe both partners in a marriage are entitled to sex. Sex is what makes a relationship a marriage, nothing else has that effect. If you think one copulation is all that's required for a wife to meet her physical obligation to her husband, I wish you the best. I just hope that you're not thinking about an affair or watching porn a few years from now, because that's where many men in your position end up. I, however, feel my physical relationship with my wife is utterly important and I don't give it up.

  • Dad says: September 25th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Thank-you for you comments, and it so refreshing to hear from somebody who is so completely honest. I have taken your advise and have written a Love Note to my bride, expressing all of the gratitude, love, and respect that I share with her. I am finally starting to open my heart and soul to my wife, although I am scared to death of the possibility of rejection.

    I would like to start educating myself on how to build a Strong and Intimate Christian marriage based on True Love. There are so many Christian books out there, I wouldn't know where to start. Based on your wealth of knowledge can you or someone else give me some direction. I am slowly trying to open my eyes to the endless possibilities and like you said "if we keep doing what we are doing, we will get what we have gotten". I am praying that we can change, and I am willing to take a chance.


  • Carla says: September 27th, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Thanks for your article. I want to share a new concept I started In my own marriage. It is what I call The Policy. The Policy, which we always grin while talking about, is that I will say Yes to sex, and if at all possible whenever he wants it. If there is a day where I am obviously tired or sick or something schedule-wise is going on, my husband is always very sweet and patient in waiting for a better time, because he is so well-satisfied that waiting is easy.
    So Yes is the rule, and Wait is the exception. I am so happy that he is happy and satisfied, and I was surprised how MUCH sex a normal middle aged man would want! I was even more surprised how much I like this new routine too! The more we have, the more we want, and we have gotten more creative too. We are closer on many levels too, and that is so neat.
    I do believe that as a Christian wife, it is my responsibility to BE THERE for him, to satisfy him, to not defraud him, to make him my priority. I love him more and more, and he feels loved and accepted by me. We have been married almost 30 years and the last couple years have been the best. We are blessed. I used to say No so much, and I had no idea how it was hurting my husband and our marriage. He loves me so much and would do anything for me, and I feel the same about him.

  • Love Links | One Flesh Marriage says: September 29th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    […] The Sexual Sin No One Will Talk About – I am a little late to the game on this one, but what an amazing post by our friend Julie at Intimacy In Marriage. Ongoing sexual refusal is something we talk a lot about here at OFM as do many of our marriage blogger friends. It is also something we hear from many readers who are hurting deeply! […]

  • Kevin says: September 30th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I wish people would see this in the same light as porn and adultery
    Then things would change

  • WH says: October 7th, 2013 at 6:19 am

    @Carla: you have found God's answer for a happy marriage, please share it with your friends and most importantly, any children you have.

    @Kevin: you're absolutely right. All we can do as individuals is to treat both sins (neglect and affairs/porn) as the same in our personal lives.

  • Daniel says: October 18th, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Unfortunately I believe the only way to change a refusing wife is to leave her. Long talks, honest letters, prayer, communication, etc... all good, and all have been tried, but unfortunately these do not change a refusing wife. A wife who refuses gets away with it until her husband leaves her -- first emotionally and then physically. That is a sad fact of life.

    Julie's life experience is a common one, sad to say. Should a good Christian husband in his 40's have to give up sexual satisfaction for the rest of his life just because his wife is through with sex?

    One spouse, the refusing wife can "win" while her husband loses, or both can lose in a destroyed marriage. Take your pick.

  • Mohamed says: October 27th, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Nice article. There are the same principles in Islam as the ones you mentioned in christianity regarding sexuality. For example, a saying of the prophet says that whenever a man (or woman) makes sex with his partner, he (she) gets a reward. Also, it is considered as sin if a partner refuses sex with his (her) spouse without reason, etc.
    I live in a similar situation (sex-starved marriage) with a wife who is not interested in sex and considers it as a very secondary issue. She refuses any discussion about it. She refused all books I bought about the subject, including two excellent books written by Michele Davis "Sex-starved marriage" and "sex-starved women" I really advise every one to read them, even "healthy" couples... I bought the "sex-starved women" book just to show her that women also may suffer from this problem and that "I do not exaggerate" as she always claims. The books propose many solutions, however, it stresses on communication...

  • AnonymousOne says: November 3rd, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    No sex is better than lousy sex. I'm not doing all the work in bed with someone who would obviously be doing something else. I've given up and accepted that this is the kind of marriage she wants. At least I'm not beating my head against the wall that apparently I've been communicating with. I think I liked my wife better when she was lying to me about who she was. I've given up on trying to romance her and whatnot after having done so only to be disappointed in the end by her lack of interest and unwillingness to do nothing beyond lying on her back. I love my wife endlessly, and because I do I feel if I don't accept this pathetic sexual relationship it will be the end of our marriage. And I probably wouldn't feel this way if her grand idea wasn't to destroy our sexual relationship efforts by wanting to have another child and putting more strain on us both a sexually and financially. But what she wants is obviously vastly more important than what I need.

  • Sean says: November 12th, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Sexual refusal IS adultery.

  • JulieSibert says: November 12th, 2013 at 7:54 am

    @Sean… I don't think it's apples-to-apples comparison to a spouse having an affair (few couples would throw them into the same category), BUT I hear what you are saying. Ongoing sexual refusal, especially with no willingness on the refusing spouse to address the issue and move toward healthier choices, is certainly sinning against God and destroying the marriage covenant.

  • WyoCowboy says: November 23rd, 2013 at 10:55 am

    The one thing that I don't see in all of these comments & article is what is tearing me apart in my marriage right now. My wife takes the biblical passage that she should offer her body to me on occasion but dreads it & wants it over fast. Then she is off the hook biblically. I want my wife to actually desire me like I desire her. My desire for her equalls my love for her. When she doesn't desire me, I feel no love from her. I haven't felt it for so long that I can't remember when I did! I've been dealing with this for 20 yrs & I'm ready for it all to be over! We've talked, cried, argued, etc about it for yrs. And I've prayed a lot about it!!! We have done some secular counseling as well. I've always come away from it all with her saying,"This is who I am, I am me & I wouldn't be me if I had to change all of these things!" One example, she has never even considered oral sex for me in 20 yrs. I have asked if just trying once would be an option but I'm looked at as immoral for even considering. We went through a spell of me performing oral for her & I know she really enjoyed it. She refuses me to do it anymore because I feel she thinks that it should be reciprocated. I enjoy doing it for her. As well, I let all with life pile up about 3 yrs ago with this marriage bed problem being the largest. I considered suicide but in turn contacted a counselor. My wife's response to my consideration of suicide was far from loving. She seemed angry that I would leave all our financial woes on her & the raising of our boys up to her. That opened my eyes to question her true love for me. I still question it. Presently, I'm truly contemplating divorce! Any advice would be appreciated!

  • Topper says: December 2nd, 2013 at 1:13 am

    This just happened to me a few months back. I agreed to counseling with a hireling shepherd (licensed 501c3 pastor) and his wife. They were counseling my frozen wife and me. Not only did they not defend me against my wife's slippery evasion of their weekly intimacy advice, but there came a point where I was practically begging him to tell my wife that her chronic refusal of sex with me was a scriptural sin. Reluctantly and tepidly, the cowardly man acknowledged this, but then, instead of holding her feet to the fire, he quickly dropped this line of conversation and moved onto more safe grounds for him, like what sins males in marriages typically commit, instead of the usual female ones. I am sure this man would insist he is not a "feminist" but I am sure for myself that his actions most certainly are in accord with feminism. He's an American evangelical castrotto-- in other words, he's your typical modern American "pastor."

  • SEX: Marriage's Biggest Lie? | Intimacy in Marriage says: December 2nd, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    […] refusing our spouse.  Nope.  All that is in the mix for sure.  I even wrote a post about the sexual sin no one will talk about (sadly, the post was wildly […]

  • Benjamin Robinson says: December 5th, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Word! Thank you for writing this, and thank you for your transparency and willingness to be vulnerable. I believe this post is going to change lives! :-)

  • Topper says: December 23rd, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    A) I am not talking about a marriage where a wife devalues an "explosive orgasm," as you put it. I am talking about a marriage where a wife refuses to her husband any and all access to her body, virtually always, despite the vows she took to never do such a thing.
    B) The New Testament declares that if you have enough faith, you ought to be able to handle poisonous snakes without any fear. Being the New Testament Absolute Literalist you profess to be, I ask you: Would you be afraid to pick up a rattlesnake? If so, you can excuse yourself however you want, but I am seeing an obvious inconsistency here. The passage about the poisonous snake handling is actually even more direct in the New Testament than anything the NT says about divorce. Go check it out.
    C) oh, and one last thing: if I should fall into a wretched porn addiction in large part as a result of my wife's sin of sexual neglect, but I still want her to rub my feet, are you going to come to my defense, or are you going to fire both barrels if castigation at me and tell my wife that she doesn't owe me anything until I stop the porn?

    I'm just looking for some consistency here, bro. Are you going to show me some?

  • Rowena says: February 17th, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    I am now a refuser. Why? The effects of unconfessed porn (and God only knows what else) has finally taken it's toll on me. Denial and minimizing is all I got when I would catch him. After 8 years of giving him nearly everything he wanted (except anal sex...sorry, just can't do that one)...I have nothing left to offer. The shame that I never could measure up meant that I dressed in the closet, showered with the door locked, and over time, cringed when he threw the "it's time" look my way. His libido was always sparked by lust for others...I never got a look from him "that way" no matter how hard I tried. There is no intimacy and never has been. It is nothing but "popular mechanics" many times he can get me to the big "O" is an ego boost for him.

    I must say that if married sex was intended to prevent temptation, well, it is been of no effect...the devil has enjoyed a real heyday in our bedroom. Done. Garden CLOSED....and now I do not have to concern myself with what he chooses to do further...or what a failure I must be to him each time he critiques our performance. Let the chips fall where they may.

    We are early sixties...apparently, this plagued his last marriage as well. Maybe a drought will remind him of the gentle rain of Grace he once had...God help us both.

  • 5 Reasons the Church Won't Talk Authentically About Sex | Intimacy in Marriage says: February 20th, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    […] the sin of sexual refusal (which, ironically, is often on the scene before pornography use, making the temptation of […]

  • Journey into the Looking Glass, Part 2: To Have and to Withhold, from This Day Forward | The Forgiven Wife says: March 10th, 2014 at 3:00 am

    […] of being the sinners regarding sex—yet if we are refusing, we are sinning. (Julie Sibert has a wonderful piece at Intimacy in Marriage about refusal as sin and another about the church not doing a good job of […]

  • Seth says: March 11th, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I am in so much pain right now. My wife and I have not had sex for 7 months and it does not seem to effect her at all. However, I am devastated, constantly trying to avoid temptation, and struggling severely with my self esteem. We have been having marital issues and we feel that we have "fallen out of love". We both know what each others needs are. Hers is gifts, quality time, and words of affirmation. Mine is physical touch and that includes of course, sex. She says she has no desire to touch me at all and we have not touched in 7 months either. This hurt my feelings. She admitted that even when we were first married, sex sometimes was out of obligation and that hurt too. For the past while, I have been trying so very hard to meet her needs and give her a reason to love me, but she has never tried to meet mine. I have not asked her to hold my hand or touch me because she said she does not feel the desire to do so at all. I recently had trouble with pornography because I was feeling so very rejected, unwanted, and unloved. I told her about it. She was not happy obviously and I am not happy with my choice. She and church leaders I have confessed to throw this on me so hard saying that everything that has been going on is my fault. No body understands what I go through. What I have went through. They have not been in my shoes. I have been trying and trying to resist temptation while at the same time, not bothering my wife with sex because I know she doesn't want it. I have never felt so low in my life. I don't know what to do. Don't get me wrong, I take full account that what I did was not right, but am I completely to blame? I feel like I am. Again, no one could understand how difficult it is avoid temptation unless you are in my shoes. Feelings of being unloved with feelings of being unwanted, with feelings of an unhappy marriage, with feelings of knowing that your wife does not want to have sex with you, along with natural sexual desire feelings, makes things so hard. I don't even want to look at pornography. All I want is to have a healthy sexual relationship with my wife where BOTH of us want it and are happy with it. That is all I desire. However, I feel like I'm a selfish, pig that has sinned and that I am unloved by everyone and god. I wish I could rewind my life and start over sometimes. I feel so much anguish from sinning and I feel like I am the only reason my family is in Jeopardy.

  • TGSantini says: March 26th, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    This is a really difficult area for me to understand.

    Clearly refusal, where one spouse is saying no most of the time for no reason is a sin - but in my experience, there is almost always some reason for near or complete refusal. So whether refusal is a sin or not hinges on the validity of that reason.

    The danger is extending it to situations where one spouse is not providing sex that is hot enough or frequent enough for the (lets call them) the sex hungry spouse.

    For example, lets say your spouse is a wonderful lover who takes you to mind blowing places, but only wants have sex once a week, doesn't want to perform oral sex because they think its disgusting, and doesn't want to do certain positions because they think the positions focus too much on gratifying the body and not on loving the whole person. You are "unsatisfied" because you want more and hotter sex. I don't think in this situation your "less adventurous" spouse is sinning.

    Not in your article, but elsewhere, I have read where the "sex hungry" spouse accuses the "less adventurous" spouse I describe above of sinning. I don't think the "less adventurous" spouse is sinning. I think this is a misinterpretation of Corinthians.

    What do you think?

    And does anyone have any links to a good quality bible analysis of this issue - is it a sin to decline certain requests for frequency and sex acts, even though that leaves your spouse unsatisfied, though both spouses would agree that in general the sex is crazy good ?

    Less adventurous spouse is 10 out of 10 satisfied with the sex and sex hungry is maybe 7 or 8 out of 10. If less adventurous does the things sex hungry wants, LESS ADVENTUROUS will drop to 7 or 8 out of 10 and SEX HUNGRY might get to 9 or 10 out of 10.

    Who is sinning if anyone, "sex hungry" for pushing too hard or "less adventurous" for declining.

    Thanks so much for the great blog post and the opportunity to comment!!

  • JulieSibert says: March 27th, 2014 at 9:39 am

    @TGSantini… thank you for your comments.

    One thing I always come back to is that the foundation has to be love. It's not loving to force certain acts and it's not loving to refuse sex completely.

    I think God implores married couples to not take this matter of sex lightly. If a couple is capable, they should be having sexual intercourse on a regular basis (they would have to mutually arrive at what "regular basis" means).

    As for sexual acts outside of sexual intercourse, I certainly look at it on a spectrum of what would be considered reasonable to unreasonable. While I certainly think oral sex is reasonable, I don't think a situation where one person is forcing another person or belittling them for not doing it is really an approach based in love. In the same regard, if the spouse who doesn't want to do it doesn't really have reasonable reasons beyond "I just don't like it," then I would encourage them to see if that approach is based in love.

    Other acts like anal sex, etc., I think it's completely understandable that this is not an apples to apples comparison to something like oral sex. All sexual acts are not the same, and as such, I think it's more reasonable why a spouse would not want to engage in anal sex (there are more risks, it's usually just pleasurable for the man performing it on the woman, etc., etc.)

    So, that's my longwinded way of saying I don't think it's a sin to decline certain requests.

    I think couples need really good ongoing communication about their sexual intimacy, need to base their approaches in love, and need dig into God's Word for a complete picture of what godly marital love looks like, including sexual love.

    Hope this is helpful.

  • landschooner says: March 27th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    @TGSantini - Holding sex to no more than once a week can be selfishly sinful. I believe in general that once a week sex is a starvation diet for most people and most reasons given for not providing more are not reasonable. If you can't have sex with your spouse 2x a week, your priorities are out of line. Certainly If you can't have sex AT LEAST once a week, you are a refuser. Frequent and regular sex in marriage is one of the major reasons FOR marriage. If that isn't happening, under most circumstances, your marriage is not healthy.

    The Apostle Paul's recommendation for dealing with sexual temptation is marriage so that each can have their own spouse to have sex with. (I'm being blunt in my language for the sake of brevity) It makes ZERO sense that a marriage should then have sex on such a sparing schedule that "burning"is increased, not decreased. in fact, if you don't have a need for sex, his personal recommendation is to stay single. That puts sex, with the implication of a sufficient frequency to help deal with sexual temptation, at a high premium in marriage.


  • landschooner says: March 27th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    corollary: Crazy good sex only once a week, is NOT crazy good sex.

    (it could be for some people. For most men I know, that simply isn't enough. They will still be starving and the marriage isn't meeting one of it MAJOR goals.)

  • TGSantini says: March 27th, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks so much for your great insight, especially the last paragraph.!

    Yes, I think Less Adventurous and Sex Hungry, while blessed a great deal, need to forget about who is sinning and work on loving communication and living out God's plan for them in marriage!

  • Chuck says: April 18th, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Yep all written above resonates so true to my soul and 6 yrs is too long, now. My children are the glue really, I couldn't leave them, but my spouse?...she is good in so many ways, but 6yrs is way too long without sexual intimacy. Do I feel trapped? Yes. Do I want my children to suffer like I did when my parents divorced? No, thus I will be sexual martyr until my children are older or things change for the good.

  • Big Junior says: May 20th, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I have come to the point where I have had enough. I love my wife and want my wife, but she doesn't want me. I finally asked "If we never had sex again would you miss it?" and her answer was "No". I am devastated.
    We have both put on weight in the 20+ years of marriage, but my desire for her is just as strong as the first day. I tell her how beautiful she is and get dismissive looks. I tell her how sexy she is and get snide remarks or laughter.
    She won't kiss me (germs...eeewww). She won't touch my private area ("that's gross"). She will consent to sex on valentines or my birthday, but I have to do everything.
    Everything else in our life is...comfortable if not good. I don't know what to do other than lose the weight and give her the opportunity to be the couple we can be or flush it away.

  • Rita says: November 18th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I found your page after searching "do married couples really talk about sex?" It was my belief that after being married for 13 years with 2 children that sex is a secondary thing, a bonus, something you'd do if everything else was done (including the dishes) and if the relationship was close and caring. My husband has been telling me for years that he wants sex more often and wants me to want it more. I've never thought I was a "refuser", it's just never at the forefront of my mind, and my husband has given up trying. Now he doesn't try and I never think of it so it doesn't happen very often... Maybe 2 or 3 times a month. This year we started counselling - and even then the counsellor would explain the theories of good relationships... but never got down to the issue of sex. I remember a pyramid she showed us, and I was really shocked to see that sex is an actual human need, not something fun and naughty you might do as an unnecessary extra, like putting sugar in your tea. It's obvious I have a pretty low drive... I'm so glad I stumbled upon your page. I feel absolutely aweful. I have to change my attitude/belief of sex... I don't quite know how, but I just wanted to say thanks for starting a change in me - and dare I say if it's not too late: saving my marriage.

  • KH says: November 22nd, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Once upon a time, I did a lot of refusing myself. My ex and I played this "game" where sex became currency.

    His behavior made me feel like I was just an object and, in turn, I refused him because I didn't trust him (in most areas of our lives). I would agree only when I could get something from him in return. He hadn't finished yet another project? I'd have sex with him if he would agree to finish it.

    To say it was a destructive and flawed system is an understatement!! I don't think it is a coincidence that it was wrong use of sex that brought us into marriage and it was one of the very things that then tore it down. The wages of sin are "death" in so many senses of the word.

    However, not long after our divorce, I did see the error of my ways. God began to give me understanding about marriage in many areas. I saw my many sins in marriage (not just about sex) and I repented. I've since repented to my exes about all of my failings in our marriages. I recognized my sin of manipulation and how cruel it was to deny him that way.

    Now, more than ever, I understand how cruel it really is. It is cruel because I am bound, in marriage, to one and only - for our greater good - and yet, when denied, I have zero outlet for sexual intimacy. Basically, I'm trapped!

    My current husband (i don't mean to imply that he is ONLY my husband for the time being, but just to distinguish from him being an ex) is the one refusing sex.

    And it is wrecking me!

    In our less than three years of marriage, it has been like this since the beginning.

    I can think of only one or two occasions in which he pursued me for sex. All other times, it has been me pursuing. By now, it has just become a bad cycle of nagging - begging - anger and frustration at being rejected - then indifference (for awhile) and then the cycle begins again.

    I know some of the "whys" - physically he has some troubles (being over 50, overweight and the fact that he smoked for years) but he also stubbornly refuses to address those issues by addressing his health or taking any herbal or rx meds to give him a "boost."

    However, at the root, I know that the physical issues are bound up in the spiritual and emotional issues of his past - guilt and shame over his past sexual sins.

    It was shocking to hear - but almost a relief because I had sensed all along that it was the case - that he said he didn't have trouble having sex with his ex because he didn't respect her, but, with me, emotionally, he says he wants to but physically it just doesn't happen.

    You'd think that all of that would soften my heart and allow me to have an endless supply of grace toward him about this touchy subject.

    It the beginning....when we first began addressing and talking about these issues. Let me correct that: when I first began insisting that we deal with these issues. But, instead of demonstrating his love by actually attempting to rectify and confront these issues, he just pulls away more and more.

    I want to be clear in stating that I have been SOOOO gentle and patient and encouraging with him EVERY time we've made love. He will be fretting (i can see it on his face) but I just encourage him to enjoy the moment and not worry about performance....all the while, dealing with a mediocre physical experience on my end.

    I've held back tears so many times.....pushed back memories of previous, satisfying love making with my ex (not the one i mentioned at first....sadly, I've got more than one). For the record, I don't WANT my mind and heart to go there but it is harder and harder to take those thoughts captive when I have NOTHING in the here and now to blot those out.

    We are now at the more than two month mark of no sex. The last time was mid-September. Before that, it had probably been at least a month.

    I can think of two weeks in our marriage wherein we had sex twice in that week. Otherwise, it has usually been at least two or three weeks between each time. But, often, it has been a month, six weeks or two months. I think this is the first time we've passed the two month mark though. All of that "frequency" has been at my insistence. If I had left it up to him all along, there is no telling how long it would have been.

    I'd REALLY love it if my husband would start ANYTHING with me beyond mild affection, which he is GREAT at, by the way - we kiss, he holds my hand, touches me sweetly, etc. - all of which I am soooo thankful for and I tell him as much. But, it isn't ENOUGH to sustain the physical needs in our marriage. We need actual physical intimacy involving nakedness and touching and more, ya know?

    I feel like I'm starving here.... like I'm drowning, suffocating.... with no relief in sight. All my begging and pleading does no good... he just says, "well, i knew i would fail you anyway...." Great. Play the victim card.

    So, I stop for awhile. Stop asking, stop pleading.... hoping that if I lay low, he will pick it up. Nope. Doesn't happen.

    I've tried to get real practical about it with him saying, "let's just agree to do this, even if out of a sense of duty. For the good of our marriage, let's commit, no matter what, to at least ATTEMPT sex at least once a week. Consistently." Didn't budge him. He acknowledges with his head the importance of it but utterly refuses to commit to anything and utterly refuses to implement any changes.

    I'm not asking to be like rabbits here, mind you. In a good but also practical world, I think three times a week would be satisfying without consuming our lives. But even once a week would seem like I'm feasting!!! Heck, once every two weeks, consistently, without me having to "prod" would be a vast improvement - not ideal, but better than nothing!

    I've spoken to one of the elders at church about it and he agreed that it wasn't good but that's as far as that went.... no men are showing up at the door to confront him about this sin.

    I've shared this with two close female friends because, frankly, it is just too heavy a burden to bear on my own. And, I've reached out to one other man at church in hopes of getting him to reach out to my husband. However, I think he misunderstood the gravity of the situation because he suggested that my husband might just not have a strong "physical touch" love language.

    So, here we are.... sexless in our marriage, with the tension growing. I have to forgive him again ALL the time because I grow bitter about it - about his lack of attention to me or sex, lack of concern about the state of our marriage and his unwillingness (apparently) to do anything about it!

    And I say to my husband, don't you see what this DOES to our marriage, our communication, etc....? This is soooo destructive and pulls us apart. Once again, ever the "wounded, rejected" one, he just acknowledges it, sulks and tells me that I'd be better off just divorcing him now.

    Sorry. This was a lot more "venty" than I intended it to be but I feel trapped. I've cried out to the LORD so many times that my heart aches but the waiting for any change is heartwrenching.

    Once again we've had a stupid argument today, over nothing, and I know that our lack of intimacy is a major factor in the tension and struggles in our day to day communication.

    I'm writing this while somehow praying for revelation and answers. Would that someone would actually have something revolutionary to offer beyond everything I've already tried.

    P.s. I've gone the entire spectrum of emotions and responses with him. I've asked him what I can do, wear, say; asked how I can encourage him in this. The answer is always, "nothing."

    I've also been angry and hurt and have lashed out - told him that other men would probably be willing to give up a small organ to have a wife so willing and here he's got that and he's squandering it like a fool!

  • Dan says: November 25th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    As a husband of 18 years, I've been struggling with this with my wife for the past 6 years. She is an "obligatory sex" partner with no desire to give or receive pleasure, she just doesn't require or desire it anymore. As a test, I quit initiating, to see how far we would go without and we entered 4 months, before I "caved in". That completely destroyed my self esteem, to know that I'm not desired. I'm a rarity in a man in that I need to feel emotionally close to want sex, which is usually how a woman is "wired". Because we are disconnected, I have lost all desire, my body wouldn't cooperate even if I wanted to. Women can do it not in the mood, but men require a physical transformation (erection) to take place to be successful. I don't believe in divorce, but I also don't think God sees any merit in just "going through the motions" with sex. Neither of us are refusing, she has no interest and I quit asking. I miss what we could have and not what we had. I agree that it is the quality more than the quantity. 10 times a year of great, fulfilling, close, emotion filled sex is far better than double that of "mechanical" sex. I pray daily and ask forgiveness, but when emotionless sex only keeps breaking your heart, you choose to stop because the pain becomes too much.

  • Hmmm says: December 1st, 2014 at 11:47 am

    To those commenting on here that their wives are "withholding sex": have you checked yourself to see if maybe her refusal is due to emotional, verbal and mental abuse? My husband has been abusing me for the entire 12 years that we have been married, and, using the Bible of course, he demands that I have sex when he wants it, regardless of the fact that 30 minutes ago he was calling me a whore, cow, telling me he hates me and wishes I were dead. And all the while reminding me of what God says are my "marital obligations". I work a full-time and have 3 kids. I pay most of the bills and take care of just about every aspect of the household and family obligations. If a pipe bursts, I take care of it. If the kids are sick, I bring them to the doctor...and on and on. I am physically and mentally exhausted!! And yet--he still has his sexual gratification with me 1-2 times a week. I do it because I want to please God, but it feels like a prison. Love your wife, treat her well, sacrifice for her in even the little things...and above all, watch what comes out of your mouth!! The tongue is sharper than a double-edged sword, and you can destroy your wife with your heartless, unthinking, selfish and cruel comments. And in the end, you are hurting yourself as well.

  • KittSmith says: December 16th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I find it very strange that the entire article and the comments I have read make no mention of the husband being the one withholding . I have searched for ways to talk to my husband about my needs but he can get angry and distant when I bring up sex. Before we got pregnant he was always ready but now when I really need him he shuns me (some porn use). He says he still has a drive but he can't do it while I am pregnant. I have tried to explain that my hormones are making me want him more than usual (that's saying something), why the pregnant body craves sex (the physical benefits that god provided to make pregnancy and labor easier for a woman through sex with her husband), and what the bible has to say about a HUSBAND'S sexual responsibility to his wife. I beleive he sees me differently than he did before
    , not physically (he still gets aroused when I am naked) but mentaly, he sees me as the mother of his child and too sacred to defile with sex. I love the fact that he respects my body for it's ability to reproduce but his has the same wondrous ability and the initial fertilization is only a part of his bodies sacred function. I am being very gentle in talking to him about this. I don't want to accuse him of knowingly sinning against God by denying himself to me but my hurt is building and I catch myself sinning by
    way of thought.

  • msve says: January 5th, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Ok, I'm the wife I have a sex drive that's very high my husband can go months without, he says it's his lack of working that is causing him to feel inadequate, and it effects his sex drive, I understand and I feel for him but I try to put his mind at ease and be supportive, I pay all the bills buy all the food the only thing I ask is take care of the yard and pick up behind yourself until u find work, if I ask for sex he seems frustrated if I put on sexy clothes he doesn't notice, went to the Dr. No low testosterone don't know if it's porn or another woman he says it's neither my question is how do i stay with a man who fills none of my needs, would I be wrong if I sought out sex from another......I'm dying over here.....I really need to feel a man's touch at least twice a week.......

  • Anita says: January 15th, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I'm 32 weeks pregnant and my husband refuses to have sex. I'm been begging for it since I was 20 weeks, before that I was the one who initiated. He told me he still finds me beautiful and attractive, but he's not attracted to my pregnant body specially now that my belly got bigger. I showed him lots of articles that assured sex is safe during pregnancy unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Also, I talked several times to him about how his rejections make me feel unloved, unattractive, ugly, and inadequate. I've researched articles about safe sex position during this stage but nothing I propose can't convince him to be intimate with me. I'm really hurt. I've cried myself to sleep while he's sleeping, and sometimes I caught myself crying in the middle of the day because of this. I have rage and resentment towards him. He tells me we can resume our sex life once the baby is born, really? 6 more weeks? I've been asking for that sexual connection for 3 months already, I still have 8 more weeks to go. That's a total of 6 1/2 months living in involuntary celibacy. How am I supposed to rekindle our sexual life after all this rejection? I been going through a lot of physical changes plus dealing with hormones. I feel lonely because I can't talk about this with anyone but him, and when I do he gets frustrated and tells me I'm overreacting and that things should be fine once the baby is born like I can flip a switch in my head and be ready after all I been through. He's choosing porn over being with the woman he claims he finds beautiful and attractive. I can't believe him since he's using self pleasure looking at women that are the opposite of me. To be honest I'm not looking forward to be intimate with him once the baby is born, he's been crushing my self esteem with his selfish attitude, telling me excuses that is normal for most men to feel that way. I told him that since pregnancy is a temporary stage he should make an effort and meet me half way so both of us can be happy. It's no about the physical pleasure, I need to be connected to my husband and he's been pushing me away with his selfishness.

  • Suzie says: January 21st, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    My husband is a refuser. He has low testosterone, which doesn't make the situation any easier, but he would rather use it as an easy out than attempt to get in the mood and have sex. His priorities are so out of line it feels likes slap in the face and I feel so trapped in our marriage. It's difficult because this isn't something you talk about with friends. It's too uncomfortable to share with our pastor. I can't just bring myself to say, "my husband won't have sex with me" at small group. What's gone from being once in a while one week stretches has now become constant 2 weeks in between. I told him it's been on my heart for a while last night and he told me he was tired and had to go to bed so we'd talk today. I cried myself to sleep again last night wishing I could be free from my marriage, even if it meant dying because I can't live like this.

  • Harry Schaumburg says: February 15th, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Lack of sex in marriage leads to the temptation of Alternative Sex.

  • butterfly says: March 9th, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    What is a wife to do when the husband has emotionally abandoned her and discounted her thoughts and feelings despite 10+ years of direct communication/pleading to this effect. What if there are poor boundaries on the husbands part and trust is shot. When the wife no longer respects or trusts her husband, sexual intimacy will suffer. Is the wife to continue to submit herself to her husband when he refuses to meet her emotional needs for such an extended period of time and refuses to do anything about it?

  • John says: March 10th, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Lord! So many good comments on here. I am sitting at work, wanting to cry, because I can identify with so many of the people commenting. For the last six years or more, my wife and I have had sex about 1 to 1.5 times a month. We have many issues, and lack of sex is one of the biggest. My situation is somewhat different, yet the results are the same: Little to no sex. Depression, anxiety, and mild bipolar disorder has stolen from me the bride I once had. She once told me in our marriage counseling session that she just had no desire anymore. Life is just too stressful and everything wears her down. I am so hurt, lonely, angry at her, angry at God. I know my wife has some physical and mental issues that keep her from enjoying sex like she should, but I can't help think that excuse only goes so far. I feel that a lot of it is just her not being convinced that she is obligated to meet our needs. Case in point, my wife and I had a long conversation before we married, where we discussed going to church, how we want to raise kids, finances, and even what we expect sexually in our marriage (We waited to have sex). She was on board with everything we discussed. After we got married, not once, not once in all the years of marriage, has she fulfilled her end of the agreement sexually. I asked her in session why she agreed, she said she doesn't know. This from the wife that I prayed to God for. I even put a fleece before the Lord, I believe is how you phrase it, before we got married, so that I would be sure I was following what God wanted for me when I married her. I stayed because I kept thinking God would make everything ok. I am not the best Christian, but I try, and I am sincere when I ask forgiveness. So, God, how good do I have to be to get help? I believe in God's power. I know he is the God of miracles, so why can't I get a little help? Why is this marriage so difficult? What did I do to deserve this? Like KH above mentioned, my wife has tried to use sex as currency, to get something she wants. I called her out on it and turned her down. After two and half months of no sex, she tried again, and I caved. This whole thing has shaken my faith in God. I am not Job, and I will not be able to hold out much longer. If it was not for the kids, I would leave, and then seek God's forgiveness later. The saddest part is it is changing me. I haven't been blameless. Now I am easily made angry. I am resentful. I have pulled away from my wife after years of trying. I feel emotionally divorced from her. If she was to offer to leave I would not fight it. I wonder if we have damaged each other so bad now that we will never be able to have a normal marriage. She says she is trying, but it is never in the areas where I need her to change. When I push the issue, she cries and then begs me to not give up on her, that she loves me. We have been going to counseling off and on for three years now. How long do I have to wait, God? I feel so empty.

  • John says: March 10th, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Wow. Sorry folks. That was way longer than I intended. Sorry. Just couldn't stop it once it started pouring out.

  • visitor says: March 19th, 2015 at 1:09 am

    What people fail to understand is that sex for men usually (99.1% of the time) means orgasmic release. For many women, the majority of time, there is no orgasmic release from sex. Men would not accept copulation without release but the idea that this is something women should be willing to do for the health of a marriage is sad. It's interesting that the majority of the men responding don't even acknowledge this, even more interesting that women overlook it. Why would a woman be expected to share her body, give her male counterpart sexual orgasmic release, without receiving the same consideration? This is not just my observation, over 80% of women do NOT receive orgasms from vaginal sex. The reason she might not want to have sex may be because she does not receive the same pleasurable reward. Men do not want to go a long time without sex/orgasms, yet overlook the fact that their women do. Sad. Men would not offer up their bodies to other males who seek sexual fulfillment, homosexual issues aside, the idea of being used for someone else's gratification is probably repugnant - don't you think women feel the same way?

  • NGal says: March 20th, 2015 at 7:29 am

    visitor... to answer your question... love, perhaps? Isn't that what life, including marriage, is supposed to be about?
    Not denying the aspect you mention.. but the closeness and one-flesh (sacramental) dimension is rewarding and important as well.
    I'm not married.. but I can't imagine having sex just for the physical release.. one can have *that* without another human being (sorry to be blunt).
    It's much more than using the other person to get an o...
    perhaps I'm an unusual woman then, since I'd happily give myself to my hubby to enjoy - just like I hope he'll give me himself out of love.
    Just because some women don't enjoy that, doesn't speak for all.

  • kenneth walendzik says: March 21st, 2015 at 3:57 am

    Withholding sex is the flip side of the same coin - adultery. Both are sexual infidelity. In 1st Corinthians chapter 7 God's word is clear - do not withhold sex. I am not saying that one does not have the right to say no because they are tired or ill. However, there must be intentional love present which demonstrates meeting the need. As Christians, disciples of Christ, our service begins at home meeting the needs of our spouse and then our family. Withholding sex is an act of FRAUD and is a sin that damages the marriage; an act of pride, power and control that demonstrates the marriage is not Christ centered.

  • Basil says: March 21st, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Five years ago I lost my wife of 44-1/2 years to cancer. I met a fantastic woman who had lost her husband to cancer about 1-1/2 years before that. We had one of those love at first sight courtships (a plug for here if I may) and married shortly thereafter. I was overjoyed when she willingly offered oral sex to me - I never climaxed but it was always a pre-cursor to full sex. She confided to me that she had never experienced vaginal orgasm before, but from the first she was multi-orgasmic (this is phenomenal from my standpoint. She only allowed me to give her oral sex once but has never since allowed me to do it, and has even stopped giving me oral sex. I so want for us to both give and receive. I have stopped trying to push it, only subtle hints maybe every month. What has stopped me is that she has decided it is a sin for her. This I can't understand at all. It is part of what God has given us to enjoy and I really love the variety it puts into our physical joining. I don't always ejaculate but always receive an orgasmic pleasure - several times usually. Can anyone address this "sin" issue?

  • Roberta says: April 10th, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    "Anonymous One, November 3, 2013":
    You wrote, "No sex is better than lousy sex."
    Any sex with your wife is better than no sex. There are physiological benefits despite perhaps being deficient in emotional benefits.
    More frequent release of semen is beneficial to your restocked, seminal vesicles and prostate. Frequent exercise of the prostate improves its health and delays formation of tumors in the prostate, which is a gland that has muscle fibers in it that squeeze the seminal fluid out.
    Semen is absorbed by the vagina and certain components are distributed throughout her body. Sperm cell nuclei go to her brain. Androgens (male hormones) likewise benefit her emotional system. Considerable research indicates that a woman is influenced to be favorably inclinetttoward the source of the "feel-good" hormones from the semen and generated by her glands.

  • Roberta says: April 11th, 2015 at 5:24 am

    "Anonymous One, November 3, 2013":
    You wrote, "No sex is better than lousy sex."
    Any sex with your wife is better than no sex. There are physiological benefits despite perhaps being deficient in emotional benefits.
    More frequent release of semen is beneficial to your restocked, seminal vesicles and prostate. Frequent exercise of the prostate improves its health and delays formation of tumors in the prostate, which is a gland that has muscle fibers in it that squeeze the seminal fluid out.
    Semen is absorbed by the vagina (presuming no barriers - condoms, female condoms, diaphragms are used) and certain components are distributed throughout her body. Sperm cell nuclei go to her brain. Androgens (male hormones) likewise benefit her emotional system. Considerable research indicates that a woman is influenced to be favorably inclined toward the source of the "feel-good" hormones from the semen and generated by her glands.
    From my experience and observation I have come to the belief that sexual activities outside of penis-in-vagina intercourse is "playing with fire." So much distress that people have is over diverse - perverse - methods of sexual stimulus other than p-i-v. We seem to have a natural sense of wrongdoing when using our genitals for other than what they are designed. Children nearing adolescence hide when masturbating. As for myself, I never "abused" my genitals until I was 12, when an older cousin introduced me to the practice. Along with that he warned me never to let my parents find out that I was doing that. Junior high school exposed me to various perversions that I had never encountered or even known to exist. When I first saw pornographic magazines, the pictures were not of people having normal p-i-v sexual intercourse, which I had seen in person without being disturbed, but of perverted activities. Rather than "spicing up" my sex life, these experiences have increased my aversion to them.
    Normal, that is, p-i-v, sex increases my desire for more while "variety" activities cause me to avoid initiating lovemaking.

  • HopefullyHelpful says: April 13th, 2015 at 4:00 am

    (standing up clapping)@Roberta: I know exactly which studies you are talking about. It is very difficult to get women to read these and believe them.
    The only thing I wish you would reconsider consider is using words like "abuse" and "perverse". Just because we do not approve of something does not make it either perverse or abusive (except to us), and causes undue pain to others when we throw those terms around as if we speak for God or even society in general, when in reality we are only speaking within the confines of our own small minds.
    The Scriptures speak for God, and definitely mention some acts as such, but those are within a specific context. And unmarried sex is one of those that qualify as fornication, or perverse sexual practices in the eyes of God, but not one that warrants death.
    As far as "natural aversion," that is pretty much a trained attitude and not really "natural." You mention seeing PIV intercourse "in person" before magazines and that implies to me family members, either spying or barging in on. That experience, especially involving loved ones in authority, could definitely tag PIV as "required" for loving sexual relations, which would strongly contrast with hard-porn magazines, where PIV just doesn't *show enough* detail.
    I could speculate that the "increased aversion" rises from multiple, failed hookups or short-term relationships, or from strong emotional/spiritual coercion (i.e., classical abuse) in a long-term relationship. I'm ranting now; I'm sorry.
    If you have an aversion for something, then by all means, say "no". If someone exerts pressure on you for it (I don't mean occasionally asking without expectation of it), then that person obviously does not care for you. As a matter of fact, that person then becomes guilty of sexual greediness, which is Idolatry--and that is definitely a sin. But even then, you cannot judge that person as "perverted." Judging is NOT up to us. Coercing your partner into lip kissing is sexual greediness just as much as coercing into anal sex. But would you still say they are asking for perverted acts?
    Jehovah judges intentions as well as actions. We cannot truly discern intentions, so we should avoid judging all together.
    But I will say this. Whatever might happen in between, NOTHING beats finishing with PIV, especially with eyes locked on each others. At least for me.

  • Bro Ken in Christ says: May 16th, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Great topic. Thank you so much.

    I'm a 56 year old male married to my absolutely beautiful 56 year old wife. This is the second marriage for both of us and we've been married almost 18 years.

    Our sex life was incredible before the birth of our daughter 16 years ago. It went downhill afterwards and has been non-existent for several years. We've had intercourse once in 2 years. Oral sex on her part is an act of begging on mine and she no longer allows me near her. Her excuse is that she's post menopausal but things weren't much better before.

    Unbeknownst to her I secretly struggled with porn for years but by God's grace I've recognized how sinful and wicked this transgression is as an act of rebellion against God, myself, my wife, and my family.

    I used her lack of desire as my justification for a release. I didn't want to lust at women but the more involved I became, the more it intensified my drive.

    Now I'm in a dead relationship with a woman who prefers to live as brother and sister than man and wife. If I get a hug or a kiss on the cheek one or twice a week she thinks she's expressed affection.

    She doesn't cook, doesn't go out to dinner with me, and she watches Fox News 6 hours a day.

    I got myself back into tip-top shape thinking maybe that was the issue. Instead she says I have steroid rage (when I bring up our lack of sex). She has accused me of having innumerable affairs over the years (she's thinking of her father). She's also a germ-a-phobe. I need to shower multiple times a day just to sleep in the same bed.

    We've been to so many counsellors and spent thousands of dollars over the years to no avail. Every one says she has deeper unresolved issues that she won't address. At this point I've given up and asked her for separation terms. She is a great (stay at home) mom but a horrible wife. She tells me our vows were for better or for worse and I need to deal with it. To hear your covenant wife tell you "get a concubine" - it makes me sick. I'm at the point where I prefer being at work than at home.

  • Sweetz says: May 24th, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I suffered my husband's porn use and flirting to other women for 10 years. Then six months ago I found out that he had developed a "friendship" with another woman...alone in the back room of his store. So I went to the Lord because it was already difficult enough to keep having sex with him each time I caught him flirting or using porn all these years. The Lord said "there is a time for everything under the sun...a time to embrace, and a time to withhold embracing"...

    So it has been 5 weeks. I am waiting for my husband to stop telling lies and stop fantasizing about other women...and to CONFESS to his unfaithful heart through our entire marriage. There is NO WAY I am ever going back to the way sex was. It will have to be something entirely new for both of us...without his lusting for other's first, and without all the sneaking around and lies. If we end in divorce...I am prepared for that.

    So why did you not address HIS sin that CAUSES a woman to get fed up years later and withhold? I am not morally obligated to continue "servicing" a man who is never satisfied with what he has to begin with. Sex is designed to PREVENT lusting and going outside the marriage. But once that boundary has been breached over and over for years...something has got to change.

  • JD says: June 10th, 2015 at 11:39 am

    We've been married 16 years and we are 38. She has no desire for sex, she does not want to orgasm, she does not want pleasure from sex anymore. We are both healthy and good looking at 38. My sexual appetite has never diminished. She's happy with fulfilling her duty once a month. I'm not satisfied at all with being undesired by the woman that I chose to spend my life with. It's a chore to her. I can't imagine how a human could will themselves to not desire sexual satisfaction

  • Colin says: July 28th, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Really? It would be nice to address the facets and forms that this "sexual denial" takes within the marriage. In my case, my wife doesnt necessarily blatantly refues sex, but she does NOTHING to help foster it. Never will she initiate, never will she accomodate time to allow it to happen. We watch TV until we are both tired and ready for bed, then she demands we watch more TV in bed until we are falling asleep. Then on the rare occasions we are intimate, its like she is placating me, putting up with my libido until next month, or two or three, whenever she feels like it.

    Sorry, but because of this, and her supposed "christian walk" i have totally lost faith in God. I am ever more convinced daily, that there is no god. and its lack of existence is evident in my wifes pseudo fake hypocritical life.


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