Initiating Sex from a Husband’s Perspective

A big thank you to Tony DiLorenzo of for today’s post! Tony and his wife Alisa have a great site full of helpful information, including podcasts, to encourage couples in their marriages. Kudos to the DiLorenzos, who speak of marriage with honor and respect. They share authentically from their own journey, which takes courage. Without further delay, be encouraged by Tony…

In the first 10 years of my marriage I could count on one hand the number of times my wife, Alisa, initiated sex. It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy making love to me, it’s just she didn’t think it was her duty or obligation to initiate sex. Our sex life was a “typical” one for the most part. We made love once a week and I would make the advance or move towards sex. She had all the power at this point because either she accepted or rejected my offer.

Rejection was more often than not what occurred.

She’d spend more time than usual in the bathroom, read extra long, have some “work” to do so that I’d forget about sex and fall asleep. You know what, she won, and our love life slipped into a state of routine. Same place, same position, little passion and little connection.

Honestly, all I wanted her to do during this time was to attack me like she did when we first got together. I can remember early on when I would come through the door I’d get jumped. We would have amazing sex as we lay in our bed full from the love making session we just had. I wanted to feel needed and desired by her. Instead I felt…


Something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew our love life had to change.

In September 2008 we vowed to make a change to our love life. It all began when we embarked on a 60 Days of Sex Challenge. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, but we knew that whatever happened over the 60 day period would sure give us a new beginning. Instead of being rejected we…

Had deep conversations
Tried new positions
Connected spiritually
Enjoyed ourselves immensely

Over the 60 days, made love 40 times and learned a lot. Alisa came to realize the importance of initiating sex. As she began to do it more often her desire to have sex increased and the issues I had dealt with for so many years faded away.

Our sex life was renewed and rejuvenated, but old habits die hard. Once we completed the 60 Days of Sex Challenge, we slipped a bit back into our old routine. We racked our brains to figure out what we could do, but nothing came to us. While attending our church marriage retreat, our family and marriage pastors talked about their love making.

They made love twice a week. On one of three days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) the husband initiated, and on one of three days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) the wife initiated. On Sunday they took the day off.
This was it. This was what Alisa and I had been searching for.

We made the decision to try this and it has completely changed our marriage and our life. It’s been 10 months and we’ve been making love twice a week and loving it. We talk about having an intimacy lifestyle now, where intimacy is truly a priority on both sides of the bed. Are you ready to shake up your marriage? Make the first move tonight.

(You can follow the DiLorenzos on Facebook and Twitter @OneOnFire. They have a book coming out soon, so stay tuned!)

30 thoughts on “Initiating Sex from a Husband’s Perspective

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  2. Kliphton says:

    Well, my wife and I have only been married for five years, and she ravishes me every day, if it ever stops I know what to do! Thanks.

  3. Tony DiLorenzo | ONE Extraordinary Marriage says:

    Kliphton – That is awesome to hear! I hope that you never have to know the rejection and hurt that I felt, but if so you are way ahead of where I was. Having knowledge is powerful in marriages and that is why Alisa and I share the goods and the bads of our marriage. We want to equip couples so that they can have extraordinary marriages. Glad yo liked the post.

  4. RestoredHeart says:

    I have a problem with this blog. I work with women who have been betrayed by their husbands through affairs or pornography use. She may not know what is going on, but her God-given intuition is nagging at her – the last thing these women want is to be intimate with their husbands. A couple in this situation need healing and within that healing there should often be a “drying out” period for the husband where they are not sexually intimate for at least 90 days. Then they can come back together and work on the issues that lead up to this. So often a wife is told that if she were more sexual with her husband, he wouldn’t have the need for an affair. NOT TRUE! I want these wives to know – This is not your fault – he would be like this if he married the latest supermodel!

  5. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you so much, Restored Heart, for your comment! I appreciate it! I agree that a husband committing adultery (either physically with another person or via pornography) is not a wife’s fault. When such a betrayal has happened, much healing is needed within the relationship. I am not naive, in that I recognize many marriages experience the deep pain of adultery, whether brought on by the husband or the wife. I also recognize that many marriages suffer from a different pain… the pain of one or both spouses withholding sex from the person they married. (I believe that is the circumstance that this post speaks to). I speak with many women who are simply indifferent about being sexually available to their husbands. Sometimes, I speak to women whose husbands are the ones who are indifferent and are not sexually available to their wives. There are many complexitites to sexual intimacy. I’d love to hear more about your ministry and possibly entertain the idea of you guest blogging a post on my site. It sounds like you have some insights that possibly would benefit the readers. Please feel free to contact me… I welcome the dialogue! thanks again for the comment! Julie Sibert

  6. landschooner says:

    Addressing a previous comment;

    Just a note. The Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 7 makes it very clear that sex in marriage helps people fight sexual immorality. Its one of the main defenses he gives FOR marriage. He doesn’t remove one’s responsibility for ones own sin – by no means does he do this, but this scripture disagrees with the notion that a spouse would commit adultery regardless of the amount of sex in their marriage. Some would and do, certainly, but many others would not.

    If a man steals bread to eat, his hunger, or even starvation, has no bearing on the issue? Some people steal anyway. No argument there. I’ve known people like this. Others are barely hanging on because they are starving. I know people like this too…..I’m one of them.

    Based upon my own experience here is a notion that I firmly believe to be true (its true for me anyway): It is MUCH easier for a single man to live a celibate life than it is for a married man to live a celibate life. As a single man I can flee temptation. Run as Joseph ran! But nightly sleeping next to a largely unwilling wife, living with her etc……This pours gasoline on the fire of the libido. It fuels desire, breeds anger (Anger because God says Yes – enjoy! but your wife says No, not tonight dear for weeks after week) and anger weakens resolve. It makes it much more difficult.

    I have often heard “So just resist. You should be strong enough anyway.”

    To this I agree. But consider this. Pick your greatest desire or your weakest area. Perhaps they are the same. Whatever it is…..and immerse yourself in it for 30 years. Have you longed for children but are barren? Go work in the Maternity Ward at the hospital. Do you think some might struggle with anger?

    I’m not trying to excuse sin. I’m just trying to make a case for empathy. I don’t inherently understand that “baby-lust” that some women describe when they struggle for years to get pregnant while others seem so fertile. I have 4 kids but I could have happily gone throughout my life without kids. It would just have been different. These women describe depression and anger; Anger at God and jealousy at new moms. I can’t relate, but I believe that its difficult for them.

    Julie – Thanks for acknowledging sexual indifference in some spouses male and female. You know, some spouses ARE jerks and wanting to withhold at least makes sense. Others are VERY happy in their marriages yet see no importance in sex and are deaf to the expressed frustrations of their partner.

  7. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you landschooner for your comment…such honesty and realness about something you are living. You paint vivid word pictures and analogies to describe the struggle a husband (or wife) must journey when they are married to someone who is indifferent to sexual intimacy. It saddens me greatly on many levels.

  8. Lori says:


    Even when a wife persues her man 99% of the time and doesn’t let him go more than 3 days between, even taking care of him during her monthly, they are still tempted and obviously it is still difficult.
    Every once in awhile I would get tired of being the one to persue all the time and I would just let him be the one to initiate next, a week or more would go by before he did.
    The saying that a wife needs to persue or give it more is a bunch of bull. It still happens. My husband is a sexual addict.

  9. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you for your comment Lori… I appreciate your honesty and I hear the frustration, sadness and devastation in what you’ve shared. Both what you share and what landschooner shares reflect different sides to the same coin… that when sexual intimacy within a marriage is not a place of mutual pursuit, respect, vulnerability and honor, deterioration results. Is your husband open at all to seeking the counsel of a Christian counselor? Sometimes an objective third party can help tremendously. Of course, I don’t know if your husband is open to this. Even if he is not, I encourage you to seek counsel for your own sanity and comfort…not only from a Christian counselor, but also from safe female Christian friends. (I’m not implying you haven’t done this, I just feel sad because I imagine you feel alone in your frustration and discouragement over this issue in your marriage).

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  11. Stephanie says:

    Lori, I totally get what you’re saying, and I know exactly how you feel. My husband is an addict (he admits it) as well. And I felt pressure beyond what I could bear, guilt so heavy it made my sick, because I felt like it was my fault.

    And then one day, I realized something – he was like this even before we knew each other. So, no, it wasn’t my fault. But I still didn’t understand him. I thought, “Just stop, idiot! Just be strong and be like those superhero-type guys in movies and books that can go years without sex.” Um, yeah. After doing a lot of research on how males work, I’ve learned that that’s nearly impossible for men, especially married men. Landschooner already pointed that out.

    So what to do? Have sex with my husband just to try to keep temptation away, or withhold sex anyway?

    The answer I’ve found is difficult, especially because it depends entirely on my husband, sometimes when he’s at his weakest in resisting. We pray. We grab each other’s hands like our lives depend on it and we pray. Sometimes I do the talking, sometimes we just open our hearts in the silence of the moment and let God see our questions, our hurts, and our struggles. Sometimes, my husband finds peace and can calm himself and is given the strength to walk away from temptation. Sometimes I’m given a bit more strength and wisdom and led to help him fight it away.

  12. Jessica says:

    This really has inspired me. I have been married for 7 years and I have NEVER initiated sex with my husband. It isint that I don’t enjoy it or that I don’t want it, it is that I am afraid of rejection. When my husband and I first met I fell head over heels in love with him and he did not have the same feelings about me as soon as I did. He treated me badly in the beginning and I felt that nothing I did was ever good enough and my fear was that I was going to be rejected by initiating sex or he wouldnt like something I was doing. Back then he had a complaint about everything that I did. As time went one and things turned completely around I guess I am still absorbed in how he used to be that I am intimidated by him to initiate. He has never said anything about it and every time that he initiates I have NEVER and I mean NEVER turned him down. I just don’t know why I don’t feel comfortable initiating sex with him. We have been together for a long time and we have two children together. Any of my other relationships I had no problem with this.

  13. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you Jessica for your comment. Your sentiments could be echoed by other wives I have no doubt. I think it is huge that you do recognize your struggles with initiating. Could you talk to your husband about what you have shared in your comment — basically help him understand your reservations about initiating? That may create better circumstances for you to feel more confident in initiating. Just a thought. Thank you again for sharing. When we all start to give voice to these things and shed light, many people benefit from the dialogue.

  14. Sad wife says:

    I currently am in a marriage with a man that is very sweet and kind during the daylight hours but is not really interested in sex with me. He has had an affair early in our marriage and I forgave him. He is now withholding sex and he doesn’t call it that or acknowledge that this is what he is doing. I feel stupid for even continuing. Our problem is bigger than not having sex. He is punishing me when I was not the one that ruined our marriage. All I can do is cry and pray and ask God for a way out

  15. Torn Wife says:

    What should I do…I’ve been married for 19 years and have caught my husband in an affair twice. I forgave him both times and tried to continue on in the marriage but I have no trust with him. He has asked me for anal sex but I have always refused him. He has told me that he had anal sex with these women, (I asked him), so I often wonder if doing this would help our relationship. I feel it is a degrading and somewhat perverse position and do not want to do it. I am also concerned with possible infection, body changes or health concerns following it. Not to mention, IF I submit to this he may just take it and still go outside the marriage since he has crossed the line so easily before.

  16. JulieSibert says:

    Dear Torn Wife… thank you for the comment. I am saddened to hear about your husband’s infidelity. In regard to the lack of trust, completely understandable. I am wondering since you both are still in the marriage if one or both of you would be willing to explore what it would take to rebuild that trust (the help of a counselor could possibly aid with this? Betrayal is such a huge challenge and sometimes a counselor can offer insights that on your own are hard to discover. I’m just wondering if within your marriage, you and your husband have gone to the deep vulnerable places as to why he cheated in the first place. What was he thinking and does he truly and humbly repent of those sins?).

    As for anal sex… first let me say that you definitely need to consider the health implications. Same is true with oral sex, regular intercouse without a condom, etc. Plain and simple, if he has had sex with other people, you do not know what he could have been exposed to (he may not even know). I think it is completely reasonable and necessary to ask that he first have a complete physical to check for any type of sexually-transmitted diseases. If you have already had sex with him, it is completely reasonable that you on your own would be checked for any STDs.

    Another issue to address is if you really want to have anal sex at all, regardless of the health implications. I have always been in the camp that sexual intimacy needs to be a place of safety in that spouses do not coerce, force or guilt their loved one into doing something. If you don’t really want to do it, then I think it’s reasonable to draw a boundary. All sexual positions are not the same, and anal sex obviously is one that carries with it greater risks than some other positions (not to mention a lot of mental barriers that may be hard to get past).

    On a deeper level, though, it sounds as if your motive of considering anal sex isn’t because you truly believe it will draw you closer into more authentic sexual intimacy with your husband (for some couples, anal sex certainly can do this… if they both are already operating from a place of trust and if they both willingly want to do it, etc, and use necessary precautions to avoid injury).

    But your motive sounds more to be based in a place of … “well, if I do this, he might be less likely to stray” or “if I do this, maybe things in our marriage will get a lot better.” That is a slippery slope to go down, because you are asking your heart to catch up to something that you think you maybe can accomplish with your body.

    Anyway, those are some things to mull over. I don’t have all the answers. There are complexities in your relationship that are not minor, obviously.

    I can’t speak for your husband, but sometimes husbands who desire anal sex are really trying to express that they want firmer pressure and tighter pressure around the head of their penis. This can be accomplished other ways besides anal sex.

    Hope this is helpful. I am so sorry for what you have been through. My heart grieves, as I hear many stories similar to yours.

  17. Captain No Marriage says:

    Have any of you ever wondered what a single guy would think if he read this? You said that at one point rejection was your wife’s usual response when you asked for sex. This in comparison to when she “attacked” you when you first got together, probably before you put a ring on her finger.

    Then your happy ending is that now you get sex twice a week. Which could be good I guess if you are dead or accustomed to little or no sex at all.

    Not exactly an infomercial for marriage.

  18. Ani says:

    8 years and still wondering where it all went wrong. What did I do that from being “perfect couple” I am so lonely now. I am Christian and he was wonderful and supportive all along. I felt beautiful and complete after falling in love with him…..we married. He was and is a perfectionist. Often found fault with me and to keep the peace I always apologise and put an end to every issue. It has never been his fault ever. I discovered my sexuality with my husband and enjoyed it very much. He always commented about how I want more in bed. Slowly his needs became less and less. I have tried talking about it, flirting, clothes etc. He changes the topic or asks me to shut up. I don’t ever remember refusing him but he has denied me so many days….I have cried myself to sleep. He snores…… Where have we grown apart. I am working full time and try my best to be a mum, wife and professional. After the birth of our beautiful baby 20months ago he has not had any sex at all. Any questions in this topic are met by rude remarks asking me to shut up and go to bed. I am not going to leave him or opt for my son to grow up without a father. I do believe in the power of prayer but I still need more Faith- atleast the size of a mustard seed.

  19. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you for your comment Ani… I’m sorry about the sadness you are experiencing.

    While I don’t know what is going through your husband’s head, I do know that it is unusual that a husband would show so little interest in sex with his wife (especially if he once enjoyed sex). And as you are seeing, when a couple doesn’t enjoy and nurture their sexual intimacy, it is likely to become a source of pain and disconnect, which obviously is not good for the overall health of the marriage.

    If your husband will not open up to you, I would encourage you to suggest to him that the two of you together go to a marriage counselor and/or agree to read a Christian marriage book together. If he is resistant to either of these, then I highly encourage you on your own to get counseling. Do not use this as a threat, but calmly and genuinely share with him that his lack of desire for sex, his disrespectful treatment of you and his unwillingness to address the struggles between the two of you is simply too painful for you to navigate on your own. Tell him you love him and you want nothing more than the marriage to be strong and enjoyable, but that you need more help in understanding how to navigate and cope with the disappointment, anger and sadness you are experiencing.

    My heart goes out to you. He obviously is being careless with his marriage vows if he is treating you so disrespectfully and being so mean.

  20. Amt says:

    My husband dosen’t have any inclination toward sex. We only had sex once in 45 years our first, last and only in our entire lives.
    I don’t even know if I should be frustrated or what. My husband made it very clear sex was disgusting, not at all important, no excitment and way to much work for so little and that he never wanted it again. Also I was not to bring up the subject. Also he wanted to be away from me so he moved to the basement, and then told me he will be working th midnight shift until they force me to retire. I’ve been upset, confused, angry, depressed all these years. We never talk

  21. Frustrated says:

    When we were dating, my wife-to-be was the one who first initiated sexual contact. I had been ready to do nothing but kiss until we were married. But after being married for a few years and having our second child, that was it. She was no longer interested enough in sex to ever initiate it. Now, after 33 years of marriage, if I want it, I have to ask for it. It isn’t fair. She essentially used me to get what she wanted – kids – and now she’s distant and uninterested. I remain committed to her but am so lonely.

  22. landschooner says:

    Amt – Are you guys Christians? If you are, then you should read 1 Corinthians 7. your husband has been horribly defrauding you. His actionas and attitude are sin, very clearly sin. If you are Christians, you can call his attention to the Word of God and what it says. That is your right to do as a Christian wife. If he doesn’t listen, find good christian counseling. Marriage counseling/Pastoral counseling. You can even go to the elders of your church or someone in authority in your church and ask them to speak to your husband. Matthew 18 applies here as well.

    I’m very sorry for what you’ve gone through.


  23. Confused and frustrated wife says:

    I am confused because I had tried to initiate intimacy with my husband, but he gave me a schedule of his availability which amount to just Saturdays and Sundays. Some time later he wanted me to initiate, but I hadn’t forgotten the rejection and the time schedule. Now it seems I have to initiate when he his ready during one of those available time, but it recently told me on Saturday morning that he was too tired. That is frustrating!

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  26. Celine says:

    This is nice to hear. We have been married for 5 years now..I dont remember the time my husband initiated it. I used to be crazy about him and was like a magnet. But I always got rejection. I cried lots..I was fed up of crying. I literally stopped initiating..then I could see that he was not approaching me when it goes without for a month or more..I tried to get involved with my work, our child etc…but I feel immensely hurt when I see him excited going for partying 2-3 days a week and comes all late…he may drive 1 hr to just get his favourite food from restaurant……I know i have chnaged so much…i used to be charming..5 yrs ago…

  27. WH says:

    @Stephanie: do you ever really think you should tell your husband to be like someone in a movie, and go years without sex? Is that what married Christian men have to look forward to in marriage? You won’t be selling too many men on that prospect, let me tell you. Your reply and astonishment at a typical man’s sex drive is what amazes me, and is a great example as to why sex is the #1 issue of men vs. marriage. You cannot pray away your sex drive as a man, no more than a woman can pray away her desire for a baby. Some women go to incredible lengths to have a child (even fly to China!), yet no one calls that addictive or abnormal behavior. I shake my head and wonder how the few surviving marriages even do that…survive.

  28. sad sam says:

    This is a great post, offering hope and useful suggestions.
    There is a lot written and said about this issue, and many differing opinions. RestoredHeart may be doing a valuable thing helping women recover from husbands who have strayed, and it may help in that recovery to tell them that their husband’s actions have nothing to do with anything they have done, and that they are not guilty. But the reasons why they do this are many and various, and Paul (in Corinthians) certainly points to the importance of regular sex in marriage to avoid this becoming a temptation.
    The point really is: what is a man to do when the woman he deeply loves and has committed his faithfuness to regularly and habitually refuses to allow him to make love to her? As a man of Christian integrity he cannot just go and have an affair, yet as a husband he cannot make love to his wife. She has put him in in an impossible position, and something has to break; very often the man eventually succumbs to temptation. Whose fault is this? Undeniably the man. He took action that is sinful. But did the wife really have nothing to do with this? Marriage is a place for faithfulness, but it is not a place for enforced celibacy. Marriage as designed by God is the right context for sexual faithful intimacy, not as a context for living like a monk.
    What I have rarely seen in these kind of discussions is any explanation for what is the reason for all this sexual denial? What do people go into marriage for? Is it to extract from their partner all kinds of material security without sharing love and affection? Why would someone expect and require that their partner go without sex for long periods of time? RestoredHeart believes rightly that a husband should stay faithful, but does that mean he should stay celibate and unloved?
    The real reason for denial, and the thoughts that allow married people to justify it to themselves, need to be better understood before we can solve the problem of sexless marriages and the consequent affairs, divorce and human heartbreak.

  29. Kj says:

    How does a wife respect her husband and openly accept or offer sex if he is verbally abusive? He says it’s because I don’t respect him, won’t let him be a leader/man, but honestly I don’t know how to stop shutting down. I pray, I work to trust God, I try learning about respect, I try to give grace…it’s cyclical and I’m tired of being disrespected and hearing about how awful I am and how awful my parenting skills are. My heart breaks for my son, knowing I’m still here allowing myself/us to be spoken to this way.

  30. Alessia says:

    This is an older post but I’m hoping I still get a reaction out of it. Here’s to trying.

    I’ve been married to my husband for 11 months now and we’ve only had sex three times. We did not get intimate during our wedding night either. In the past 1.5 years he has initiated sex once, he gets angry and shuts down when I try to have a conversation about it with him and he almost never seems sexually interested in me at all while having “normal” interest in porn (a couple times a week). I don’t know what else to do and am having a hard time with accepting my own body because I feel rejected.

    How do you bring this issue up in a marriage without your spouse getting angry and thinking you’re attacking them? I have tried so many different forms of bringing it up but nothing seems to help.

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