The Altar of No Pleasure: Are You Sacrificing Your Sexual Intimacy?

Too many couples are sacrificing their sexual intimacy.

Any of these altars sound familiar in your marriage? Lack of Time. Waiting for Ideal Conditions. Inhibition. Too Tired.

Well, today in our on-going “altar” series, we have author and speaker Sheila Gregoire digging into another altar — Lack of Pleasure.

Is sex not pleasurable for you? Instead of figuring that out, would you rather not have sex at all or do you just go through the motions?

Glean from Sheila’s wisdom on this topic. Her insights could compel you to pull your sexual intimacy off this “altar” and start enjoying sex with the man you married.

Ever notice how everybody in the whole wide world absolutely loves sex?

At least, that’s what magazine covers blare at us in the checkout line, and movies and television convince us of. People are attracted to each other, they fall into bed, and everything works just beautifully.

Yeah, right.

Let’s get a reality check here — and some hope for the future. For many women, sex does not feel very good at the beginning of their marriages. In fact, based on the surveys I did for my upcoming book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, it looks like most women have rather ho hum sex in their first few years of marriage.

They don’t reach orgasm.

They just don’t like it that much.

That’s because, as much as we may talk about sex being “totally natural,” we don’t just figure out how to do it easily. So many things are tied up in sex that making it work perfectly isn’t simple.

You have to feel safe. You have to feel relaxed. You have to feel willing and not ashamed. And besides all these emotional challenges, you also just simply have to learn to do it right.

And that takes time.

Men and women, for instance, like to be touched in entirely different ways. Men like it a little bit rougher and harder, while women like it a little bit gentler. If he were to touch you on your clitoris, for instance, the same way he would want to be touched on his penis, more than likely it wouldn’t feel good; it would feel very uncomfortable. Whereas if you were to touch him the way you like to be touched, he would interpret it more like teasing.

I think that’s why many couples get off to a bad start, and then many women just assume, “Oh well, sex isn’t for me. It just will never feel all that good.”

Perhaps your first sexual experience was before you were married, and it was rather hurried. You didn’t have time to get that aroused. Or perhaps your first time was on your wedding night, when he was also in a hurry, and neither of you took time to figure out what you wanted.

He didn’t seem to be into “foreplay,” and you didn’t ask, and so you settled into a routine where, when you do make love, he has an orgasm rather quickly, and you start dreaming about paint colors or grocery lists.

It does not have to be that way!

Most guys don’t take a lot of time at foreplay, but that’s often out of ignorance, not spite. We assume that it’s because they don’t want to, but it’s usually because they don’t understand.

And we give up on the idea of ever actually experiencing sex as a good thing, and so sex becomes rather low on our priority list (or else a source of great resentment).

No one wants to live that way. That’s cheating yourself out of something God created you for! So here’s how to get out of this trap:

You need a reset button.

Start over!

If you are going to have a good time in the bedroom, you are going to have to be an active participant.

Tell him what you want! He wants to make you feel good; for most men, that’s the ultimate prize. When they know that they can make you feel good, they feel like real men. They feel wanted and desired. So he wants it to work, even if he’s rushing through it. He just doesn’t get it.

But maybe you don’t know what you want, and you don’t know what to tell him. Here’s a good way to figure it out: suggest that you play a game where all you do is touch for 15 minutes. Just have him touch you, and when he does something right, let him know. When it’s not quite right, move his hand or lead him to some place better.

You don’t even need to use words if you don’t want to. But show him what feels good, and in the process you’ll probably learn yourself!

Then change places and touch him. Make a rule that he’s not allowed to do anything except experience it, so that you can enjoy the wonder of your effect on his body. And keep playing this game, repeatedly, where he just figures out how to touch you and you figure out how to touch him.

Once you’re comfortable touching each other, see if you can let go and have him bring you to orgasm some way (either with his mouth or with his hands).

Pay special attention to your arousal level, labelling it between a 1 and a 10 (with 10 being orgasm). Think of 9 as the point at which, if he stopped, you would literally burst into tears. Learn how your body feels and reacts. And once you get used to what a 9 feels like, then get to a 9 and start intercourse at that point.

Of course, to do this, you’ll have to carve out time away from the kids when you can relax.

Turn off the phones.

Light some candles.

Have a bath together, or start with a massage.

If he understands that “tonight’s about one long sex session,” he’ll be far more likely to want to do the massage — and then you’ll be far more likely to relax, so that you’re able to experience more pleasure.

If you’ve been making love, with him hurrying along after foreplay that isn’t that great, then change things up!

Teach him to touch you. Learn what your body likes. And you just may find that sex isn’t just for him; it’s totally for you, too!

Sheila Wray Gregoire is a speaker and an author of five books, including the upcoming “The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex” with Zondervan, available February 2012. She blogs at To Love, Honor and Vacuum. You can find her on Facebook at

Don’t miss the other posts in this on-going series!  Sign up with the RSS-thingy so you can catch what other great marriage bloggers will be saying about the Altars We Sacrifice Sexual Intimacy On.

PART 1: The Altar of Time by Dustin Riechmann

PART 2: The Altar of Ideal Conditions by Lori Lowe

PART 3: The Altar of Inhibition by Kate Aldrich

PART 4: The Altar of Tiredness by Paul Byerly

Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

5 thoughts on “The Altar of No Pleasure: Are You Sacrificing Your Sexual Intimacy?

  1. Shelly says:

    One thing my hubby has taught me was that if I am do not receive pleasure, then he doesn’t enjoy it as much. He still does of course as he is a man, 😉 but he would much rather please me. He gets more out of our experience that way. I admit there were A LOT of times when I used to rush through sex. Once I realized how wonderful sex can be, I stopped. I relaxed and went with the flow.

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