What a New Wife MUST Know About Sex

Okay, I’m going to try something a little unconventional here.

I’m not asking for much.  I just want your honest insights.

See, I regularly hear from wives who have a few years of marriage under their belts and they “wish they would have known then what they know now.”

Sound familiar?

In other words, when it comes to sexual intimacy in marriage, they spent the first several years of their marriage not nurturing it, not understanding it, and/or not communicating about it with the guy they married.

So, here’s what I want.

If you had ONE MINUTE to say anything to a soon-to-be wife about sex, what are you CERTAIN you would mention within that one minute?

Leave your comments below.

Then forward this post, Tweet it or Facebook it to as many current wives as you can.

Let’s be a body of Christian women who are bent on speaking hope, truth and encouragement into generations following us.

Let’s impact young Christian wives or soon-to-be wives in such a way that sexual intimacy in their marriages will not succumb to so many of the difficulties rampant in long-standing marriages.

Let our words teach them so that they won’t be wives who some day say with heavy hearts and regrets, “I wish I knew then what I know now.”




Leave your comments and I will approve them as quickly as possible.   Comments can be left anonymously… you can put any name you want in the name line and give a bogus email.  Although, your email doesn’t publish anyway, so there’s really no harm in leaving your real email.

Let’s see if we can get at least 50 comments.  Your opinion matters…

Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

66 thoughts on “What a New Wife MUST Know About Sex

  1. Frustrated Husband says:

    Anyway – on the off chance you do decide to use this in some way – it’s what every wife needs to know, and it’s this: once you’re married, SEX IS NOT OPTIONAL, IT’S MANDATORY. Every bit as much as are all the obligations foisted upon men (i.e. “be romantic,” “let her talk to you all night long even if she goes on and on about things you don’t really need to hear again for the 500th time,” “let her pick the movie,” “decorate the house the way she wants to even if the old furniture is perfectly good,” “spend your weekend doing the honey-do list because maybe, just maybe, you might get sex a couple of times a month if you’re a good boy and do everything the Bible and the Christian marriage gurus say, and if the planets all align and if you strike her in a really good mood and the hormones are balanced just right – but be sure to give her 500 minutes of foreplay or she won’t enjoy it and you won’t get another chance for six months.”

    If you think I’m resentful, you’ve got my drift. Here’s the way it is: marriage is like a Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, the purpose is to give thanks. But honestly, would anyone come to a Thanksgiving dinner just to give thanks if it weren’t for the food? Tell your wives that to the husband, if marriage is a Thanksgiving dinner, SEX IS THE TURKEY. If it isn’t there, or if it’s a “burnt” offering that is prepared carelessly and is of poor quality, the husband around the “dinner table” isn’t going to be very happy – and he might just up and leave for his own room and prepare himself his own TV dinner. Unfortunately, wives see sex as “the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie.” Nice to have, but no big loss and never really missed or cared about if it isn’t there, and certainly not worth spending a lot of money/effort on. What do wives see as “the turkey?” Romance – being the hero of the romance novels they’ve read all their lives. Doing their biding 24 hours a day and being at their beck and call with anything and everything you marriage gurus say we should be doing. Well, guess what. To husbands, all that romantic flower-and-candy Valentine’s day crap is the “whipped cream” of the marriage, and it goes both ways. A half hour of sex multiple days per weak is a mere pittance of a demand in comparison to everything the typical wife demands of a husband. So – yeah – put it into those would-be wives’ heads that THEY TOO have a responsibility in marriage, and that they shouldn’t expect it to be a one-way gravy train where the husband has to do everything and the wife can just sit back and coast eating bonbons and assuming everything’s going to be a fairy tale with no effort on her part.

  2. Frustrated Husband says:

    Sorry if I got long winded and no doubt offensive back there – I just needed to let off steam. Look, I’m not really an ogre, and believe it or not I really am a Christian and I really am not the misogynist my words above make me appear to be. I do pray – daily – and make every effort to read blogs like this and apply them despite my feelings. But as my name says, I am very frustrated, and what really bothers me and makes me so angry is that 99.9 percent of all of the marriage blogs and podcasts and other Christian sources do make it all about “what husbands do wrong and should be doing differently” – while honestly giving a free pass to wives who renege on their initial marriage vows to be their husbands’ sexual partners for life. Giving lip service to the importance of sex on a once a month or once a year basis while devoting the other 99% to what husbands should be done is grossly unfair (I’m speaking of Christian sources in general, and not you, because you do write with instructions for wives). But even blogs like yours which purportedly write more to advocate for the husbands, miss the mark when they place emphasis on things that are more important to wives than to husbands. Sure, a husband might appreciate a call at work reminding him that he’s appreciated, or a post-it note stuck to the bathroom mirror in the morning – but really, to him, those things are “whipped cream” and not turkey. A wife who really wants to please her husband “romantically” – AND give him all the motivation he needs and make his efforts to be romantic worthwhile and make him more willing to do the things she wants – would not spend as much time and effort on whipped cream that doesn’t matter. I don’t care if I ever receive flowers, or another greeting card, from my wife as long as I live. But if she would just allocate a half hour three days a week to get naked and have a good time physically with me, all of my above frustration would vanish and I would stop reading blogs like this only to feel sorry for myself.

  3. donotdisturb blog says:

    Though the world would have us believe that sex and God do not belong together, they do! When we choose to be vulnerable, naked, enthusiastic and wholeheartedly devoted to a great sex life God will bless us. Don’t get caught up in the “event” of sex but in the building of a strong marriage through emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy and oneness.

  4. Eryn says:

    Can I just say – I’m a new wife of just a few months and I’m really curious what those of you who are further along on the marriage road will say. Sex is great, but man talking about it can be awkward and it’s harder to discuss and be open about it that I ever thought it would be.

  5. JulieSibert says:

    Wow… “Frustrated Husband” — you are frustrated. I am sorry for what you must be experiencing in your marriage. Thank you for your insights.

    I think each marriage is unique, but I strive for the entirety of the tone of my blog to be that God clearly says sex is not optional and that it is meant for good, pleasure and bonding between a husband and a wife. It is meant for both a husband and a wife to nurture it and mutually be accountable for making sure it is a valued part of the marriage.

    I sense from your comments that your wife must not view it that way.

    Marriage blogs, books, etc. are written from a more broad perspective because, as I said, each marriage is unique. What I always tell people is that they should “glean” from any resource they read… some things are going to resonate with their marriage and some are not. The point is to continually be growing in marriage.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    As for comments, they can be anonymous. You left yours anonymously. It’s just that I approve them because I have gotten so much spam in the past.

    Eryn and Do Not Disturb Blog — Thank you so much for stopping by and offering insights. I really appreciate it! I hope others will do the same.

  6. Sarah says:

    I’ve been married for five months and shocked at my husband’s lack of interest and desire for sex. It has been a major disappointment of source of confusion for me. He claims he is insecure about his body, exhausted, stressed, etc. It has caused many arguments and tears…so he also says he doesn’t feel like it because we “fight too much”. I’ve stopped trying to initiate anything and completely take the pressure of of him…doesn’t make a difference. I have no idea what to do! I would love to be intimate with him, but I feel increasingly resentful.

  7. Cherl says:

    I have to start by saying I have been married for 20 yrs, and until about 3 months ago my husband would have sounded just like frustrated husband. So don’t give up on your wife, there is always hope in God. What I have learned in the last little bit is that I would for sure share with new wives is the sanctity of sex. Yes it is an obligation and should not be ignored, what has helped me is to realize how important it is to our intimacy and bonding each of us together. Not sure if that is making sense. What I’m saying is, is that it is not just sex, it is so much more than that. I for years saw it as an obligation to keep my husband happy, but now I understand it is so much more than that. We need it to stay connected to keep our marriage healthy. Also, I would make sure they understood that intimacy(sex) is how a husband shows and feels love. That may be more than I can explain here but it is a point I have read a lot lately and I get it now.

  8. Kate says:

    I think I would mention a couple things that tie together. First, I would say that sex is not just for your husband. If you view sex as the part of marriage that’s for your husband & it’s something that you do out of obligation or mandate, then it’s going to be just that – a chore. Sex is meant for both the husband & wife to fully enjoy & can be amazing. If you don’t feel like it’s an amazing act that’s meant just as much for you as your husband then don’t accept that that’s just how it will always be for you.

    My second advice would be to have one woman in your life whom you can talk to about anything in your marriage. My husband knows who this woman is in my life & he is ok with me discussing the good, the bad & the ugly with her. We both realized the importance to have a mentor, someone to help guide me through these sometimes muddied waters of marriage. Make sure you talk to her about everything – even sex. It’s sad that among Christians sex is so rarely discussed or encouraged. If you’re an “older woman” reading this may I encourage you to offer to mentor a younger wife. You have no idea the impact this could have on a couple!

  9. Jennifer says:

    I would urge any wife to make herself known to her husband. It takes time, and it may be very emotional, but transparency leads to better intimacy. Make yourself known to your husband and know your husband!

  10. Glynis says:

    Ahhhh S-E-X! The often “forbidden” topic in Christian circles.
    My husband Jeff & I do marriage mentoring and we spend one session together as 2 couples talking about the sacredness of sex and one session separately as women/men talking about the differences/mechanics etc. It is an honor to do this as I well remember that I got NOTHING in the way of education. Dr Howard Hendricks said “We should not be ashamed to discuss, that which God was not ashamed to create”
    When I meet with the women, I share with the wife (to be) common issues that she may encounter, how to understand herself sexually, how to understand her husband and how to understand one another.
    Our book lists many ways to bring about this understanding (too many to write here) I cannot reduce it to one thing but let me try stating two things of great importance. 1) Mutual sexual enjoyment will be achieved when you each take responsibility for it. 2) “Your husband can get his other needs met (ie:food, laundry etc) at a restaurant/cleaners but, if he isn’t getting his sexual needs met at home with you, and he goes anywhere else, God calls it sin. ” Barbara Rainey
    One final thought…………Before you marry, Satan will do all he can to entice you to have sex, after you marry, he will do all he can to assure that you don’t! Don’t let him win!!!
    You can read more about this topic in our book The Solution for Marriages.

  11. Alecia says:

    Couple of thoughts –
    Frustrated Husband, I hope I’m not overstepping speaking directly to you, but at the same time, what I’m going to say can easily apply to anyone reading this blog…

    While sex is important and while it often is more important to a husband than it is to a wife it is not necessarily the TURKEY. I don’t know your whole situation but it sounds like physical touch is your love language and its not your wife’s. It sounds like you two are doing two things that are not working.

    First, you’re not speaking each other’s love language. We tend to show love towards others in ways that come naturally to us. For instance, my husband’s love language is Words of Affirmation. You can imagine how my nagging and putting him down and never encouraging him because I was (rightfully) frustrated myself wasn’t working. Yes, he needed sex from me. But he also needed to be told how wonderful he was, how appreciated he was…he needed the “love you” texts and the post it notes on the mirror. It took us years of stubborn tension and resentment and ultimately infidelity to figure this out. WIVES – learn your husband’s love language. No matter how unnatural it seems to you, learn how to speak it and love him in ways that resonate with him. It WILL affect how he responds to and treats you in return.

    Secondly, it seems you and your wife are playing the “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” game. Marriages that exist where spouses give only expecting something in return are generally not happy marriages. You don’t go shoe shopping with your wife to earn points because then she’ll “have to” give you something later. Marriage is a real test of a persons ability to be selfless. To give without expecting anything in return. To love even when you aren’t feeling love coming back at you. WIVES – give your husband what you know he needs even if you might not get anything in return. Even if you don’t see immediate changes in his behavior or attitude because of it. Do it anyway.

    Lastly, what I was originally going to write before reading all the comments is that I think something that new wives need to know that I wish I had known about sex is two-fold: One, just because you can’t figure everything out easily and immediately doesn’t mean you aren’t meant to be together. Sex is another form of communication and it’s only one aspect of your marriage. It takes time, effort and practice to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Don’t get down on yourself or your husband if you have sessions that don’t go how you thought they would or you don’t end up orgasming. Studies have shown that the majority of women do not reach orgasm by vaginal intercourse alone. You have to figure out what works for you and your husband and then get good at it!

    Two, and this is by far more important: If you don’t work through your sexual past (sins, behaviors, traumas, expectations, etc) and your perceived sexual needs (how often, desires, etc) and those of your husband they WILL make their way into your bedroom and affect your overall marriage. My husband and I both had sexual sins in our history and involvement with others that didn’t even lead to “intercourse” but the choices we made and the sins of lust, pride, selfishness, and idolatry that were behind those choices were never discussed and ended up making a huge impact on how we acted in the bedroom. WE had sex before marriage and never discussed the impact that had on our marriage until going through counseling because of an affair. You can make a great sexual relationship that honors God in your marriage, even if you have a sexual past, but it has to be discussed. Involvement with other’s before getting married (even if it was with your future spouse) creates soul ties in you that are very hard to break, affects your mind and heart, and affects your expectations for your spouse based on your past experiences.

    Marriage is a wonderful thing that God blesses us with and sex is a wonderful thing that God gives us for our pleasure! We need to, especially as women, figure out how to enjoy it, do it well, and make it a positive thing in our marriage not just a point of contention.

  12. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) says:

    One minute is not a lot of time for something like me on this topic! LOL. I think I’ll take the tactic the Apostle Paul used at the end of Romans 12 and string together several short sentences. [Deep breath]:

    God designed sex.
    Learn about your body.
    Learn about his body.
    Deal with past sexual hurts.
    Read Song of Songs.
    “Each other” scriptures apply to the bedroom too.
    Sex is a duty AND a privilege.
    Take your time.
    Prepare yourself for intimacy.
    Believe your body is beautiful. It is.
    Sex is as important as communication to most husbands.
    It gets better as you work on it together.
    Be willing to laugh.
    If something’s wrong in your sex life, get help. And remember it’s an “us” problem.
    You can have an orgasm, but maybe not today.

    [Beep!] Oops, time’s up. I’ll add “Have fun! Lots of fun.”

  13. Britney says:

    My husband and I have been married for almost 4 years and have a wonderful sex life. What I learned early is that if I want to feel valued outside of the bedroom he needs to feel valued inside the bedroom. This is, of course, a two way street. He understands that the opposite is true for him. If he wants to feel valued in the bedroom I need to feel valued outside of the bedroom. If you are actively seeking to make your spouse happy, they will return the favor. Also, don’t be afraid to have an awesome sex life! Society and Satan tell you that you won’t so prove them wrong! Do your research and find out exactly what you believe to be Biblical in regards to toys, games, positions, etc. If one of you are not comfortable with something don’t push the other to try it. Julie gives great advice in this area, btw. It will be awkward at first (and even later in your marriage) when you try something new. Laugh about it. I also recommend the 30 day intimacy challenge we did as a newly-weds. Offer each other an intimate activity every day for 30 days. Get creative. Sex is not the only intimate activity you can participate in. Maybe you want to lay outside on a blanket snuggling and discussing your future or maybe you want to try that new position. The God of the universe created sex so trust me, you won’t get bored with His creation if you look for something to discover. Talk to your husband about what feels good and what doesn’t. He will never know if you don’t tell him. Ask for his feedback and accept it with an open heart. Never criticize when the clothes come off. He is just as nervous about the way he looks as you are. If you were sexually abused as I was, seek help immediately. Don’t think that just because you are married you will be able to deal with the emotions within the context of your marriage. Go to counseling together and seek your own therapy. Pray for your intimacy. I frequently pray with my husband before we are intimate and ask for a blessed marriage/union and to honor God with all area’s of our life including our sex life. God created sex and is not ashamed to have his child ask him about it any more than He is ashamed to have you ask how the grass grows. Above all, remember that God made this gift for BOTH of you. It really is an AMAZING gift. Brandon and I learn are always learning more about it and can’t wait to know what God has for us next!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sex is something you should know before marriage. It’s a huge deal and you don’t want to marry into a sex-less marriage.

  15. New wife of 9 months says:

    My husband and I both had sexual sins in our past and openly talked about it before hand, but unfortunately it still has affected our marriage and we are now in counseling to figure it out. Luckily we waited to have sex with each other but even so, I’m constantly afraid that our past sins will cause infidelity and have to fight hard that this is not always the case. Satan is fighting extra hard it seems to make me feel like my marriage is doomed for infidelity. I guess I wish it would have been discussed further so that we would have known the consequences that past sins could take on our marriage and handled them then instead of waiting.

    Fortunately for us we are in counseling now and hopefully will save a lot of heartache later on for dealing with these issues now instead of later, so even though I am not an “older” wife, I do strongly encourage my friends who are not married to 1. Wait for marriage and 2. Be COMPLETELY open and honest with your future spouse about sexual sins and expectations and work through it then. I also reccomend new wives to read “Going all the Way” by Craig Groeschel
    Another thing that is hard is that we do the same things and don’t really know what else to do or try so we get stuck doing the same routine. Even though we both still enjoy ourselves, I’m afraid it will eventually get old. We obviously do not want to look at porn to get ideas (that was some of the sexual sin for him) so I’m not really sure where to look that would help our predicament? I want to wow and take care of my husband sexually without crossing any inappropriate lines. Does anyone have a good suggestion of this?
    Thanks in advance.

  16. Frustrated Wife says:

    Sara, I feel your pain. I have been married for 4 years and nothing has changed. He still does not desire sex to this day, for the same reason as you mentioned. “We fight too much, I’m not happy with my body, I don’t feel good”. I’m so embarassed. Our culture says men want sex all the time. All the woman has to say is, when and where. Not my husband. It has caused me to have an affair, and though my husband has forgiven me, I wonder if I wasnt’ better off just leaving him. Sex is a big deal to the wife just as much as it is to the husband. Why doesn’t anybody ever talk about how much the wife deserves it just as much as the husband thinks they deserve it? I agree with everything Frustrated Husband said, but vise versa.

  17. JulieSibert says:

    Anonymous… when you say sex is something you should know before marriage, if you mean that you should have sex before marriage, I’ll have to disagree with you.

    But if you mean that a person should understand the significance of what sex means to a marriage and should head into marriage with that commitment, then I agree with you.

    The best place for a couple to learn about sex is with each other after they are married. Sadly, too many people head into marriage without a commitment to thoroughly nurture their sexual intimacy together and to never stop learning about one another.

  18. Melinda says:

    I actually just had a conversation with a friend about this topic since she is about to get married. I told her three things. First, I wanted to make sure she knew about stretching her hymen. It was up to her whether she wanted to do it before she was married or have her husband help her with it after they were married. Secondly, lubricant is your friend. Coconut oil is the best. Third, make sure you have a towel with you because sex is messy. A bath towel is better than a hand towel so you don’t have to concentrate on staying on the towel.

  19. Tom says:

    – To be blunt, Christian guys marry in order to have frequent, God-sanctioned sexual relations. If that aspect of the marriage is going to be missing or severely lackluster, there’s not much reason to get married in the first place. If you’re not willing to provide this for your husband, DO NOT GET MARRIED.

    – Men like sexual variety. By marrying, they are giving up the potential for sexual variety from multiple partners. As such, they need that variety within the marriage. That doesn’t make them perverted, disgusting, porn addicts, etc.

    Be willing to stretch your boundaries – only having lights out, missionary position sex is a one way ticket to a frustrated husband. Discuss this with your husband. Ask him what he would like to try. It’s OK to set boundaries, but at the same time, be willing to revisit those boundaries from time to time.

    – I’ve heard that the main thing men want from their wives is respect. Not really – we need respect, but more importantly we need that respect expressed through willing sexual participation. You can say you respect us all day long, but if that doesn’t show up in the bedroom, it means nothing.

    – We love it when women initiate sex. But too many wives think bending over in a low cut blouse is “initiating”… sorry ladies, you have to be more overt. After decades of hearing women complain about “all he thinks about is sex – sometimes I want to just cuddle without him thinking it’s an invitation for more”, men have become very gun-shy about initiating sex. If you want it, TELL HIM. Don’t assume he knows what you’re thinking or feeling (actually, that applies to marriage in general, even outside of the area of sex)

    – Most of all, we want you to want us. Men want their wives to find them sexually desirable. Let your husband know that through words. Be blatant about what you find sexually attractive in him.

  20. Message to Tom says:

    Tom, Although I can agree with you on some points, I’m appalled that as a Christian man, you think it is okay for a man to have multiple sex partners. Married or not a disciple of Christ is clearly told in the Bible to stay away from sexual promiscuity. It is not something that God designed for non married men or women to just partake in freely. It was designed completely for marriage and marriage alone.

  21. Heather says:

    3 things.
    1) It is OK to enjoy sex.
    2) In married sex, there is NO shame.
    3) Find a Christian woman to talk to who loves sex and is willing to be real with you.

  22. Tom says:

    I never said it was OK to have multiple sexual partners. I said by choosing to marry, they’re giving up the *potential* for multiple partners. I certainly don’t advocate that – just trying to explain men’s need for variety. You don’t have to agree with it, but it’s there, for better or worse.

  23. Lisa says:

    My perspective comes from my husband and I both being virgins when we were married. Here’s my list of what I wish I’d known. 🙂
    1. It might hurt at first. I was told “only the first time”, so after 6 months of pain, I was pretty discouraged. Be honest with your husband, but keep working at it. Eventually, it will be worth it. 🙂
    2. He may be as nervous as you. It might take him a long time to get up the nerve to feel it’s okay to initiate. Especially if it is painful for you.
    3. While a busy life can easily exhaust him and make him “plan ahead” less, don’t let that be an excuse to put things on the back burner.
    4. Communication is vital.
    5. Pray. God designed this. He wants it to be a wonderful experience for both of you!

  24. Long Time Husband says:

    The most important things for a new wife to understand about her husband are:

    1) No matter what or who he looks at, he chose YOU. He is programmed biochemically by testosterone to look at attractive females. The longer it has been since he has made love with you and worked off that testosterone load, the more likely it is that he will involuntarily be more acutely aware of females in the area. That’s exactly why Paul provided his instruction in 1 Cor 7 on how to avoid temptation. If his eyes linger on some other beauty, just say “Hey, big boy, come here- home cooking is always the best.”

    2) Men and women are not the same. Men don’t try to think of sex all day long, it is built in. Many of us wish we could concentrate in something else for a change.

    3) The porn industry is in crisis these days and all kinds of companies in LA are going under. By far, the most popular porn today is offered by ordinary people- amateurs. Why are men drawn to it? Not because the women are gorgeous- it is because they appear to be eager to participate and enjoy themselves. If you are that way, he has far less urge to look at anyone besides you.

    4) You don’t get to decide what he “needs” sexually any more than he gets to decide if you are hungry. Want a solid marriage? It costs about an hour a week split up three or four manageable chunks. You spend more time than that folding clothes. Listen to Mark Driscoll on the Song of Solomon (http://marshill.com/media/the-peasant-princess), and read this book: http://www.amazon.com/Lube-Jobs-Womans-Guide-Maintenance/dp/1585425613

  25. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you everyone for the continued comments… I appreciate the dialogue going on.

    Long Time Husband… you make some great points. While I haven’t read the book “Lube Jobs”, I do always encourage Christians to first seek Christian sexual intimacy books, as it is more likely they will resonate with Christian values. That being said, though, I can’t really comment on the values shared in the book you mention, since I haven’t read it.

    One book I think has many great points is Marla Taviano’s Book, “Is That All He Thinks About: How to Enjoy Great Sex With Your Husband.”

    Thanks again!

    And thank you Lisa for your comments about you and your husband being virgins and your suggestion to not give up, because it’s worth it. All your suggestions are spot-on… such good wisdom.

  26. Cat says:

    I’d say it’s SO important for women to know that the investment you make in sexual intimacy is WORTH the payoff! It’s worth it for your husband to feel loved and admired, respected and desired-it reaps rewards in so many ways! Sexually, yes, because then he desires to bring you pleasure, too, but also outside the bedroom-he WANTS to be home with you, he values your opinions, he sticks up for you and fights for you, etc. Marriage is an investment with great return!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I definitely do think you should know what your sex life will be before marriage. How can you commit to marrying someone when the sex could be horrible? My marriage is sex-less. If I would have read your blog before I got married, I would not have married the guy. I didn’t realize how important sex was in a marriage.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Also, I’m not understanding what everyone’s talking about when they says their past sexual baggage is affecting their marriage.

  29. Erin says:

    After nearly 12 years of marriage, my main advice would be don’t judge by the wedding night. It keeps getting better year after year, as my husband and I know each other more deeply and learn more about each other’s bodies and preferences.

    And also, it’s a really great idea to bring your sense of humor to bed with you, and to release expectations of perfection. Sometimes sex is funny. Sometimes it’s kind of a let-down. Sometimes it’s just something to get done. But the other sometimes– when it is amazing and your toes curl, they make it worth it. You just have to work for that. Sometimes for years.

  30. Salina says:

    Anonymous- past sexual baggage can be a huge factor in your marriage. Abuse, rape, sex prior to marriage, it can all have a major effect on how your marriage will go. I’ve been married 7 months now and thankfully I dealt with all my baggage before our marriage. Those types of things can cause a woman or man to view themselves negatively so they don’t want to be touched, as in the case of abuse or rape. Sex before marriage is probably worse in my opinion. You develop spiritual ties to the person you are intimate with, and they are so very hard to break. So with all that being said, it is definitely best to deal with past sexual baggage before entering into a marriage.

  31. Erin says:

    “Also, I’m not understanding what everyone’s talking about when they says their past sexual baggage is affecting their marriage.”

    Anonymous, I think I can answer at least part of this. I lost my virginity when I was 17. I was sexually active for a month, and then my boyfriend and I broke up and I didn’t have sex again till my wedding night, nearly 4 years later. I’ve now been married for nearly 12 years and I still sometimes have flashbacks to the sex I had at 17– which, for the record, was crappy sex. And do you know what I don’t want to be thinking about when I’m having sex with my husband? Anything except sex with my husband. Especially sex with someone else.

    I am learning to pray when I have those thoughts, that God would block them from my mind and allow me to focus. It helps some.

    I believe that God has forgiven me of the sin I was involved in with my boyfriend in high school. My husband is aware of it as well and chose to forgive me and marry me in spite of it. But being forgiven doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences to my foolish actions.

    I am grateful for forgiveness and for the joy of being in a long-term monogamous marriage that God has allowed me to have. But the baggage I have from that sin still affects my mind and my heart. I can imagine that if it had been more long-term or extensive, it could greatly affect my marriage.

  32. Salina says:

    As I stated in my previous post, I have only been married 7 months. I understand how important sex is in a marriage. Unfortunately, I saw what it did to my parents and am so determined that my marriage will not be like that. It’s not perfect by any means, but I do so enjoy our sex life. We do communicate on all levels and are always striving for better. I like the one poster who said that satan is constantly trying to get you to have sex before marriage and once you are married he does everything to stop it. That is so true! Keep God in it and you can’t go wrong, that’s probably the best advice I can give… being as new to marriage as I am =o)

  33. Lori says:

    Like the rest of life, if you want to grow and be better at something you need to be intentional about it and practice. Make time for intimacy, read good books about intimacy, communicate with your spouse about intimacy, practice, practice, practice.

  34. Di says:

    Here are my three things:

    1. Being a virgin, sex will probably hurt. If it hurts for a long time (i.e. longer than a month or so) then go and seek professional help. I ended up having to have surgery to break my hymen…

    2. Saying yes when you don’t feel like having sex is much easier than saying no and feeling guilty about it. And you usually end up enjoying yourself and feel more connected as a result. You will never regret saying yes, but you may regret saying no.

    3. Even rubbish sex is better than no sex. I sometimes say that I am not in the mood, not really interested, too tired etc, but it is part of loving my husband sacrificially, and honouring him with my body, my gift to him, even if I feel like I won’t get anything out of it. But I do. A happy husband who says going away on business is something of a sexual desert 🙂

  35. Robert says:

    1. Please do not buy into the lie that for men sex is only a physical “itch” that needs to be scratched. Your husband sees sex as profoundly intimate and deeply loving. He needs to be intimate with you to build a strong bond. This is important.

    2. When you married, your husband made you a promise to be sexually faithful. This is a promise you want him to keep, so work on your side of that promise – to joyfully and lovingly meet his need for intimacy with you. This is a need he can meet ONLY with you, and only with your genuine loving willingness. Sexual intimacy given grudgingly or with gritted teeth is worse than no sexual intimacy.

    3. Understand that when your husband suggests sexual intimacy, he is going out on a limb, being vulnerable. HOW you respond is important. When you say no, be clear that you are saying no to sexual activity and that you are not rejecting him. Affirm your love for him, even when saying no to sex.

    4. In some marriages, the husband has the higher sex drive. If that is your marriage, please understand that his higher sex drive does not exist to annoy you. It is real and is for him not something he can simply turn off.

    5. If your sex drive and his are way out of sync, you need to understand that having sex on the low drive spouse’s preferred schedule will NOT meet the high drive spouses needs – at all. That is not a compromise. Nor will it be workable over the long term.

    6. Don’t put husband and sexual intimacy at the bottom of your “to do” list. Make time to nurture your marriage, by making sure you can lovingly and joyfully be sexual with your husband.

  36. Michael Flud, MA, LCPC says:

    I am a professional pastoral counselor and marriage has always been my number one passion. So I have done a lot of reading, thinking, praying and talking with my wife about marriage and in particular–sex within marriage. As such my wife and I have worked though a lot of both of our issues over the years and today we have a wonderful marriage and sex life.

    It breaks my heart to hear how so many marriages struggle with this area. And especially the women. It breaks my heart because so many people (and again, especially women) are believing lies from the devil and allowing him to rob them of something God gave as a blessing. But the common theme I have noticed is a lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6 says that we are destroyed from lack of knowledge. To apply that here, your sex life is destroyed from lack of knowledge. That’s knowledge about the act of sex, the purpose of sex, the importance of sex. That would also include lack of knowledge about your body and your husband’s body. It is also lack of knowledge about the road to sexual intimacy (mental preparation/all day foreplay/bedroom foreplay, etc.) So to that end, my advice to new brides (and grooms, by the way) is to never stop seeking knowledge. Always have the mindset of a student. Become a student of sex. Read everything you can to find out what God says about sex. (Notice I say to read what God says–not what Hollywood and especially not what porn says.) Read Christian books and the Bible to seek what God says.

    And part of being a student is to admit that you don’t yet know everything. So you need to be open to new information. It is also acknowledging that what you do know may be wrong. So you need to be open to new information and new viewpoints. From experience, I can tell you that your views will change as you learn and grow. So be open to learning new things.

    But don’t be afraid of learning new things. Typically at this point people will say, “Oh, so you think I should just do the kinkiest thing out there and go along with it just because I’m supposed to be open to new things?” But notice how fear immediately propels you into dark thoughts. If you are reacting out of fear, you are not responding to the Spirit. (See 2 Tim. 1:7 and Rom. 8:14) We are to be led by the Spirit, not fear. If you are in a loving marriage and you are both seeking God, the Spirit of God will not lead you to a place God has not blessed. But sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone to possess our promised land. The Israelites had to leave what was comfortable (Egypt) to walk through what was uncomfortable (desert) in order to walk into their promised land. And even then they had to fight for it. So just because it pushes your comfort boundaries, doesn’t mean it isn’t from God. But that doesn’t automatically mean it is either. That’s why you need to continually seek God together through this journey.

    Also, you need to fight for it. Just as the Israelites had to fight for their promised land, so you too will have to fight for your sexual promised land. You can have it, but you have an enemy that doesn’t want you to have it. You must fight. That means you. Not God. Praying serves a purpose and God is fighting on our behalf, but God also calls us to put on the armor of God. Only people who go into battle need armor. Clearly God expects us to engage in battle for the blessings of God. That includes our sex life. I once heard Bill Johnson say, “Sometimes we pray in place of obedience.” I like that and I have seen that many times in marriages. People will say, “Okay I will just pray about all this sex stuff,” thinking that will get them out of acting on it. But sometimes we pray in place of obedience. You could also say that sometimes we pray in place of action. Prayer is used as a delaying tactic because you don’t want to face changes in your behavior, thinking, mindset, etc. So don’t be afraid of change and action to bring about that change. That may also include counseling with a professional. (Don’t be afraid of that either!)

    One last thought: Hosea 4:6 in the NLT says, “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.” And in Genesis when it talks about Adam knowing his wife it is referring to their sexual relationship. Knowing God and knowing your spouse is connected. You really can’t separate them. In order to improve your sex life you need to know God. But knowing your spouse (having sex) will help you to know God better. We need to see these two as one and not separate actions.

  37. Michael Flud, MA, LCPC says:

    I have written several papers on the subject of sex within marriage. I will list them and a brief description here:

    1. Erotic God – I discuss the fact that erotic love is part of God and should be part of God’s people.
    2. Pleasure God – I discuss the fact that God created pleasure in the Garden of Eden (before sin) so we shouldn’t be afraid to experience pleasure in our lives and esecially the bedroom.
    3. The Meaning of Sex – I discuss the fact that the true meaning of sex is focused on giving, not getting.
    4. Spiritual Sex – I discuss that our spiritual life and the physical pleasures of sex are not to be divided, but integrated into one.

    If anyone is interested in reading these, they may contact me at http://www.hopeandhealingcounseling.org for copies of these papers. I am also available for counseling if this is an area you are struggling with or would just like to know more about. Phone session are available if you are not in the area.

  38. Lisa says:

    My husband and I have been married almost five years, a drop in the bucket compared to some, but I just recently learned that it’s OK to say “no” as long as I’m not withholding sex as punishment or as bait for him to do something I want him to do. Some nights, you just aren’t going to be in the mood. Some nights, he’s not going to be in the mood. Give each other the freedom to say no without worry or guilt. If you don’t have a choice to say no, you might as well be a slave. I know the verse that says our bodies are not our own, and that’s true, but saying “yes” or worse, just going along with it without any effort on your part, can lead to resentment and bitterness and feelings of being used. Communication helps. “How can I let you know I’m interested in sex tonight?” “How can I tell you I’m not in the mood without hurting your feelings?” Things like that. Great question!

  39. Mary says:

    Communicate. Before, during, after. Be clear about your needs and wants (and the distinctions). Ask after his. Not just what felt good, but what you and he would and wouldn’t like to try. What attracts him, what he would love for you to do (foreplay, etc). How many times a week he biologically needs it (and if he wasn’t sexually active prior to marriage, he likely will need it more the first year).

    Initiate. Don’t make him have to initiate every time. Since sex is a main way men feel marital love, you initiating is saying you want him – essentially saying you love him.

    Be active. Give him a break and let him be passive on occasion, whether that means you’re on top, or oral sex, or whatnot (and it’s okay if it takes virgin new wives a year or two to get this far). This is similar to the above, and for similar reasons. It’s like saying, “I LOVE you” instead of “I love you TOO.” Not that there’s nothing wrong with the second, unless that’s all you say.

    Negotiate. When you (or he) are really not in the mood, hurting (e.g. period), or can’t have sex for a while (e.g. postpartum), don’t just tell your spouse, tough luck. Find ways to help you both, whether that means setting a sex date in a day or two, stroking and cuddling while he masturbates, etc. Sometimes sex simply can’t happen, but if you make that the default for suboptimal times, you’re hurting your husband.

    Learn. Read books not only on marriage and marital sex, but also about other sex-related topics like understanding men or the female biological system. Even for those who don’t plan to do FAM (fertile awareness method) birth control, the bible on that – Taking Charge of Your Fertility – is still a book I would give any young woman, especially those about to get married. Understanding your body and hormones is priceless.

    And on hormones… have discussions on what you need (and he needs) when you are hormonal. Starting the communication about your menstrual hormonal quirks and needs paves the way for smoother communication when your hormones can really go crazy (pregnancy, postpartum, menopause). And be willing to admit to yourself and him when you are hormonal – not to dismiss anything you’re saying or doing, but simply acknowledging that there is that factor that you both need to be aware of.

    Your body. Two things… remember that your husband is only allowed to delight in your body – so let him (not only passively, but actively as well)! And learn to embrace your body yourself. Having low body esteem shows, most of all to your husband, and it seriously lessens his ability/desire to take pleasure in your body. If he says you’re beautiful… learn to believe him. It may not be a lesson learned in a day or even years, but keep learning.

  40. Lonesome George says:

    I guess I’d urge brides (and grooms!) to consider a few things… These are my top 10, in no particular order:

    1. Fidelity is more than not cheating. It means loving that person the way they need to feel loved.

    2. Monogamy cannot exist without sex. Nor can it exist with infrequent and/or unenthusiastic sex. (At least not for very long, IMO.) And if you want to avoid heartbreak, infrequent should be judged by the more needy spouse.

    3. “Dancing” with your partner is the surest way to make sure they don’t seek out a different partner. (They did choose you, after all.)

    4. If any reason to say “no” will do to postpone sex, you have it backwards. Look for reasons to say “Yes!” (It isn’t a space shuttle launch, for goodness sake!)

    5. Many people (particularly women, I understand) may not start out super-aroused, but almost always “warm up” if they give it a chance. Just do it!

    6. The importance of attitude shouldn’t be underestimated. Enthusiasm makes all the difference. (It easily trumps gravity, stretch-marks, wrinkles, etc.)

    7. Don’t assume just because they have stopped complaining, the problem is gone. It may have quietly become much worse.

    8. Turn off the TV, play games together, laugh together, and keep things fresh. If you can’t relax and be open and playful together, something is wrong.

    9. If you want to teach your kids that they should have sex before marriage, raise them in a sex-starved household. (No words you say will be as powerful as the message your actions and priorities show them.) They will figure out by watching you that sex is for non-married people. And if they get married, they will suffer because of that faulty blueprint.

    10. Conversely, if you want your children to wait for marriage, show them that healthy married couples laugh, flirt, and make love freely.

  41. Tom says:

    Don’t think you have to swing from the chandeliers on your honeymoon, at least for the next weeks or months, 😉 -trying to experiment with crazy positions that only a contortionists can do. Just spend the first months getting to know your new grooms (or brides) body. Don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself. Just have fun!

  42. married for 12 yrs says:

    Don’t fall into the trap I did and think that sex is wrong if it’s not boring. Spice it up in mutually comfortable ways.
    Also yes it may hurt the first couple of times, I myself had to have a hymenectomy. It was discovered by my gynecology Dr during my first pap smear. Luckily I hadn’t had sex yet. How awkward. So get a Dr you like and that is a Christian and discuss questions with her/him as well.
    Initiate sex, men cannot read your mind. Do not be subtle.
    Lastly I find that if I’m tense, premenstrual, mad at hubby, have a headache, I will feel better after sex. Especially if I have a sinus infection, works better than a neti pot. Although I wouldn’t recommend any positions that would cause post nasal drip; ewww factor there.

  43. Don't Be Insecure says:

    I am a man in my mid 40’s and have been married for over 10 years. If I could speak to a young bride about the most significant sexual issue she should address, it would be insecurity.

    As several other posters have mentioned, when a man gets married, he consciously cuts himself off from all other potential sexual partners. Even a Christian man, after he gets married, still has a raging desire desire for other women. However, he chose before God to subvert that desire – and with God’s help – promises to give all of his desire and fidelity to his wife.

    Along the way, that beautiful young wife, in many cases, looks into the mirror over the years and sees herself becoming less skinny and less beautiful. Before you know it, she’s 40 lbs overweight. None of her ‘cute’ clothes fit. None of the lingerie she got at her bachelorette party fits, so she throws it all away. She starts to feel terrible about herself, which reflects directly in how she feels sexually. (In my case it took about 1 year for my wife to gain the 40 lbs.) Having children takes a terrible toll on a woman’s body too…that’s part of the deal. Men understand and can handle that.

    In the mean time, the husband, who has vowed off all other women, still loves this woman all the same. He’s devoted his life to her. He still desperately needs her to maintain that ‘come and get me big boy’ attitude.The depression and poor self-image issues which are so common with women are the ice water satan is pouring on the marriage. Trust me – your husband doesn’t care about your body image – he still wants and needs YOU to ravage him and make him feel like a man! Your attitude is what he wants – he’s already seen you naked.

    The great thing about sexual desire in men, is once they get aroused, they could care less what you look like. The sooner you figure that out, the better! It’s YOU the man loves. Your love, your attitude, your security, your acceptance, your willingness to be sexual behind closed doors. You are his only sexual outlet, which he has promised to you exclusively.

    I know I’m sounding like ‘it’s all about the man’s desires’, but truthfully, I’m talking about the wife’s happiness, which reflects in the strength of the marriage. If she can lose the insecurity, she can find true sexual connection with the man she married. I’ve seen too many Christian marriages fall apart purely out of the sin of insecurity. “Because I’m so insecure and take offense at every little thing in life, I just ‘know’ you’re doing [name your offense], so no, I don’t feel like sex.” That’s an excellent way to push a man away.

    A woman’s confidence and security is the reason men find confident women in their 40’s so sexually appealing (think Cougars). Those women who are totally secure in themselves, know exactly what they want, and demand it from their man. That’s what most men want – a woman who stays excited and enthusiastic about sex, despite the hurdles in life! I know it’s difficult – if it was easy, we wouldn’t need to have this conversation.

    As my wife has gotten older, she’s become so much more secure in herself and it’s made a big difference in our sexual life. She still has a long ways to go (still missionary under the covers lights out most of the time) and still doesn’t believe I don’t care that she’s overweight, but I don’t. I just really want her to whisper something suggestive in my ear as we put the kids to bed…and then follow through.

    And by the way, if you must say no. Don’t just shoot him down cold…that really hurts Instead tell him exactly what you’re going to do with him once you feel better.

    Hope that can help someone…

    Oh – One other thing (hope you read fast..). You MUST promise each other to read the book ‘The 5 Love Languages’ every year of your marriage. You will discover things about your spouse and yourself that you NEVER would have known otherwise. It will change your life and make your marriage stronger every year!

  44. Be connected get to know your husband says:

    At your teenage years maybe the devil most likely did all he could to you to embrace a premature sexual life in a non marital relationship. Maybe you are not a teen anymore but the pressure of our media society today, is bombarding you with all this sex material, maybe all your friends are all married but you are not…..Let me tell you something about sex;
    ….now you are married to husband and you are living God’s plan for sex but Please be careful!!!! NEVER TAKE IT FOR GRANTED, he (the devil) might come from the other side and try again all he can to destroy your marriage and guess which door he most likely is going to enter: got it right SEX!!!!! BE Aware
    So my humble advice: take it as a journey, please listen to me. Pray, study your husband primary needs, communicate, it will gradually get better as you cruise along, Enter your husband favorite box whatever it might be and be part of it with him. It will meant a lot to him ….never turn off the “pursuit switch” that you had on before you got married.

  45. amy says:

    If your husband isn’t interested in sex (not a one-time “not interested,” but general “could-care-less” all the time) – get help immediately.

    Have a dr. check him for low testosterone or other medical possibilities. We struggled with this for FAR TOO long and I always thought it was just me (the wife) with some kind of problem (unattractive, undesirable, etc.), when it turns out, it was simply low testosterone. A fairly simple fix, and having known about it earlier would have saved us both years of heartache.

  46. amy says:

    Just read through all of these – and for Sarah and Frustrated Wife, PLEASE ask your husband to have his testosterone checked. If nothing else, it is at least a starting point. I have been in your shoes and cried myself to sleep so, so many nights because I didn’t know why my husband didn’t want me. We were both young, active, attractive, etc…but he was always “tired,” “busy,” “not in the mood,” etc., and he wasn’t into porn or with anyone else, so I could not figure out what the problem was. After years of fighting about it, ignoring it, and struggling with his low desire, seeking out help from a urologist was a God-send. I will be praying for you both!!

  47. Doris says:

    Spiritually, men take vows. Monks vow to have no woman at all. Husbands vow to have only one for their entire life. There’s no greater love statement made to a woman than her hubby’s vow of fidelity. Sadly, many of us take this for granted, forgetting that, in his natural and historical making, man was designed to have many women.

    It’s such a sensitive issue to bring on the table, I know, but isn’t it an ardent matter? With every divorce, a vow is broken. Putting the blame exclusively on men is not gonna fix anything else than our thirst for revenge. First of, the angry divorcing wife is the same person as the lovely bride of yesteryear. Or is she?

    Whenever you hit blank walls in marriage, when you feel that you can’t talk to him, that he ignores you, that he’s nagging you, that you need more sleep, that you’re tired, etc. please remember the day, or night, when he proposed to you. At that time he was DETERMINED to fight his own nature for you. At that time his entire world was YOU!

    He proposed to me twenty-four years ago… And I said yes, a shy whispered yes…

    Did I know then what I know today? Of course not. It was all romance and excitement, cuddling and passionate love. Plus the bits of theory I’ve read about — because I like reading the user’s manual before unwrapping the box. Sadly, not many have the patience to waste some time with that so important booklet. But I made my list of duties and rights in marriage. I took it seriously as the logical consolidation of our love, as the living application of my attraction towards my man. What I learned from theory was that husbands –almost invariably– will cheat on their wives (see the nature of man) and that miserable wives can make them dearly pay for cheating on them. So, it seemed to me, that marriage was a battlefield. I didn’t want to be at war with my lover because I married him. This should be tragic if you think it over. I decided to share my concerns with him, before going further… “to war.” And I asked him: “what do you think I should consider to be your first right in our marriage?” Bit stunned, he stopped from kissing my neck and turned to me, seemingly serious: “My right to ejaculate, my dear bunny!”

    I broke the silence with a laughter. “Is that all? You mean, is this ‘right’ so important to you?” Wasn’t sure if he was joking or not. Never heard such a stupid answer. “Sure it is. Go figure.” And he returned to torture my neck, behind the ear.

    Men are so very simple beings. They would stop from chasing other women (as their nature indicates) if you, their bride, were giving them this ridiculous right (for you) but so important (for them) to ejaculate.

    Try ignoring their right to ejaculation and you call the game of war in marriage. That because their nature will take them to other places, where someone else will give them this primeval right. It’s such a minor thing with such major consequences. And you’re the one in charge, the giver or the taker. Keeping your man exclusively for you is not that difficult, if you know how to read (and give) his rights…

  48. UK Fred says:

    On a ‘Day to Treasure’ marriage enrichment seminar I remember being told “Sex without phileo is meaningless, sex without eros is boring and sex without agape is risky”. The only thing I have ever heard that was more true was the laughter at the expression, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help!”

    Seriously though, your spouse has to be your friend, your lover and the person you will give your life for. Anything less will be obvious in your sex. This is the body-language for saying I love you without any reservation whatsoever, and it is difficult to lie in body language.

    The second thing that I would say is that it is important to know your spouse’s primary love language because if you don’t, you will think you are telling your spouse you love him/her but it will be unintelligible and simply noise to your spouse.

    Finally, I would ask everyone to remember that the husband’s ideal is his wife. If she is a little bit chunky, then he needs to like chunky women. If she is fair skinned, then he needs to desire a woman who is fair skinned. If his heart is set on marrying a woman with black hair, then wife, don’t bleach your hair. Husband, love your wife and wife respect your husband.

    One of the most intimate things that my wife and I do is to study the Bible together using our daily Bible reading notes

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