Today is my birthday.
Ironically, the older I get, the more I like my birthday! Seriously.
It’s nice to be pampered, to hang out with my closest friends and loved ones and to appreciate all the goodness life has to offer.
What does this have to do with sex, you may be wondering?!
Sadly, for some married couples, the only time of the year they are having sex is on birthdays and anniversaries. Instead of celebrating sexual intimacy throughout the year, they confine it to only a few spots on the calendar.
If this is the pattern in your marriage, I humbly recognize that there’s probably a reason or two behind that.
Unresolved issues. Unaddressed pain. Emotional distance. Apathy. Poor communication.
And maybe you are the one who has tried to address these sexual intimacy struggles to no avail.
I receive emails regularly from men and and women who are deeply wounded by their spouses’ lack of interest in nurturing intimacy. It grieves my heart. And in a way, it inspires me to keep writing and championing the need for married couples to foster sexual intimacy as God desires they would.
There is work yet to be done, and I see that.
On the other hand, as you read this, you may be realizing you are the one who has been indifferent about sex.
If you search your heart and the Scriptures and you realize you could step in a healthier direction… and do something to nurture sexual intimacy in your marriage… why not take that courageous step now?
Don’t wait for a birthday.
Don’t wait for an anniversary.
When you get to a point where mutually-valued sexual intimacy is the rule rather than the exception, you won’t think of sex as “birthday sex” or “anniversary sex.” You’ll just think of it as “sex” — a fabulously intimate and vital aspect of your relationship.
I get birthday sex all the time. We just call it sex.
And it’s always a reason to celebrate.
Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
34 thoughts on “Birthday Sex? We Just Call it Sex!”
We have sex quite frequently, but what I like about birthday sex is:
1) It’s guaranteed! No stress, no chance of rejection, it’s like “free sex”.
2) Wife will initiate. Again, not that she never does, but I’m sure she will on my birthday, and that’s just sexy because its rare.
3) It’s like New Years sex, kicking the year off right.
Happy Birthday! Enjoy ringing in your new year with some fireworks 😉
Funny thing is, we don’t always have sex on our birthdays or even our anniversary. One reason being, by the time we get home from celebrating, we are too tired. It sounds really sad, I know… Also, we often don’t celebrate on the actual day. We aren’t the type to drop everything just because it’s our birthday or anniversary. We find a weekend evening near the day and plan a date then. Oh, and the fact that I share a birthday with one of my kids doesn’t help.
BUT, we are getting plenty of lovin’ in on the other 362 days of the year, so it’s not all bad.
Looking back on our last anniversary though, we did go out to dinner and then found a nice secluded spot along the beach to park and “watch the submarine races” 🙂
Unfortunately for some of us even just getting birthday sex would be an improvement.
Today is my birthday too! Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday Julie! Thanks for your great posts, heart for truth, and desire to honor God behind it all!
Happy Birthday or, as we say over here, Feliz Aniversário!
Happy Birthday, Julie!
Blessings to you and yours!
Never on an anniversary. Never on a birthday. Never on New years. Never on any vacation in fact (“I’m here to go to the beach, not have sex!”).
Once in 21 years on valentines day.
But then again we have it 4 times a year so I can’t have too high of an expectation and “ride her like Seattle Slew” – and thats direct quote from her mouth.
We also have 4th of July Sex, New Year’s Day Sex, etc. Most recently, it was…. National Pie Day Sex. My wife is so good to me, and it is kind of a joke between us.
Example: “It’s Thursday! Let’s celebrate the fifth day of the week, with Thursday sex!” I wish every man was as lucky as me.
Okay, for those not in a mutually valued sex as a priority marriage…what keeps you in the relationship? How do you maintain a positive outlook? When you have asked, initiated to get rejection or apathy in return. How do you keep going?
Unfortunately my wife has some health issues at present which make sex unavailable. To top it all she has a bad cold, not flu, thankfully; so I cannot even kiss her.
I now realise that kissing and cuddling are every bit as important as actual love making.
When I share kissing and cuddling time all my concerns just melt away in the arms of the woman I love. When I cannot do this I become irritable quite easily.
Of course when we do have sex then I am at peace with the whole world nexrt day.
Hey, Happy Birthday Julie!!
Yah, I can relate to John above. Used to be it was guaranteed that we WOULDNT have sex on my birthday, Anniversary, Valentines Day or whatever. Those were guaranteed sexless. Been married 21.5 years now. The one thing I really wanted for my birthday in all that time was to make love to my wife. She was acting like Martha but I wanted HER, not cake.
That has changed though. In the last couple of years things have improved and we even had sex for HER birthday last year!
Blessings to you Julie! Happy Birthday and thank you for all that you do!
I’m with Jason on the relationship motivation question – Actually, I have 2 questions.
1. How do you keep going with very little glue? 9+ years of marriage here – To an ‘I only do it because you need it – but only during the two weeks a month that I don’t have a period or PMS, so hurry up and get it over with so I can go to sleep’ wife. We were both virgins before marriage – so no way to know it was going to be like this. Yes, I believe my wife is part of God’s perfect plan for me, and as a Godly husband I will always honor my wife. But a very, very big bummer at this point.
2. For women who apparently enjoy sex – What motivates you? I’m struggling with an understanding of a Godly woman who wants a lot of sex (‘lots’ being defined as more than a couple times a month). Is it part of your core personality to just enjoy sex, or do your husbands have a way of improving on your baseline of sexual desire?
My New Year’s Resolution is to avoid any external emotional intimacy fulfillment that would take my focus off my wife (I don’t know a way to describe this – basically no ‘erotic in nature’ fulfillment from anything other than my wife – i.e pictures, videos, literary, etc) but it’s difficult when the object of my desires isn’t much interested.
Christian ladies – What’s the secret?
Feliz cumpleanos Julie! Great post!
AMan- I’ll answer #2 for you. As a woman, I am motivated by the fact that my husband ALWAYS makes sure that I ENJOY sex completely. In other words, he makes sure I climax every time. Of course, this takes me being willing to communicate to him what is working and what is not. Admittedly, for years, I didn’t realize that I wasn’t experiencing as powerful of orgasms as I could. One day, I began to research and read everything I could find and finally got things figured out. One day he said to me… “So, you weren’t really getting all you could in the past, were you?” HA! Yep, he sure noticed a difference!
I have no idea where your wife is, but I’m guessing she’s not having mind-blowing orgasms. How can you tell? If she’s not screaming, moaning, or writhing, she’s not there. Start reading and researching to find out what you can be doing to help her along. Most women don’t get there with penetration alone. If she’s willing, have her relax and see if you can bring her to climax manually (or orally). (But start with lots of foreplay before reaching for the magic spot) If you have a house full of kids, you need to either send the kids away or get a hotel room so she is not inhibited to make noise.
If she’s having great orgasms, and still not wanting sex more than once a month, then I don’t know what to tell you.
One last tip- most women are most arousable at the time of ovulation (which would be around 2 weeks after she has started her period) Another thing I’ve noticed is that sex is best (for both of us) when we are making love at least every 3 days (which I know doesn’t help you if she’s not willing… but once she realizes that, she will most likely be much more willing) It’s like the engine is staying warmed up and in good working order. If we go too long between, it gets a bit rusty.
@AMan – in reply to your question #2…I LOVE having sex with my husband. This is a second marriage for both of us…my first marriage was abusive for twenty plus years. That being said, I absolutely HATED sex in my first marriage because my ex never once tried to pleasure me, it was all about him and he was also constantly critical of me outside as well as inside the bedroom…who wants to have sex with someone that obviously thinks you’re stupid?
Compare that to my current marriage where my husband calls me beautiful daily, kisses on me daily, holds my hand wherever we are (always, always holds my hand or has his hand on my leg while we are driving), and always makes sure I have an orgasm when we make love. I feel so confident in bed and safe to explore new things because he is so caring and loving towards me. We are so emotionally connected and that is not something I have ever known.
As far as why your wife is not interested in sex or more frequent sex, could be a number of things. Yes, I agree with the comment above that your wife may not be feeling fulfilled during sex, but I would venture to say, she is not feeling emotionally connected to you for some reason. And I don’t mean to say you are not a caring husband. For me, there are days I do not feel connected to my husband for one reason or another and I notice it affects how I feel about wanting to be intimate.
It can be such a tough subject to talk about, but I would greatly encourage you to find a time to address this with your wife. I would start off by telling her exactly what you said in your post about her being the only object of your desire and how you crave more intimacy with her. Tell her your honest feelings about her…how beautiful she is, how amazing her body is, what a fantastic wife she is, etc…and be sure to tell her those things on a daily basis. She needs to have it reinforced over and over. It makes my heart flutter to hear my husband call me beautiful. Staying physically connected outside the bedroom as well is very important…hold her hand often, give her kisses daily, come up behind her as she is making dinner and wrap your arms around her and tell her you love her.
I don’t know your wife, but I would say that a majority of women need those type of things to stay connected to their husbands.
I pray that things will improve greatly for you, as I know how hard a sexless marriage can be.
Married 20+ years, I haven’t had it quite as bad as John, but for the first 15 yrs or so, wife was a 3 times a month or less person and that was it. We usually had birthday sex, Valentines sex etc., but that let her off the hook for the rest of the week or 10 days. Sex was only on her schedule and there was no use in asking for more than 3 times a month, although I did, it never went anywhere.
Wife changed a few years ago though, we actually have sex 2 or more times a week, no special ocassion even!! Our relationship is SO much better than it was, she enjoys it and I am not grumpy or disappointed all the time.
Aman…some suggestions. Sex is mostly in our heads, start working from the top down so to speak. Lots of non-sexual touching, tenderness, and no strings attached type kindnesses. Invest in her spiritual life, pray with her and for her, share your desires gently with her, ask if there is anything you can do to make things easier for her, less stressful etc. Make sure you know her ‘love language’ and build on it. Above all give her time, maybe she has hangups about sex from childhood or maybe some unresolved feelings about what’s ok and what’s not. Its not like the church is exactly outspoken about sex in marriage, so sometimes is hard for us to flip the switch once we get married. Keeping trusting in God, believe that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28), and that God will work it out in His time.
Anonwife, Anonymous & Chrissy – Thanks for the responses. I probably already knew the answer, but it’s good to hear it from real people vs. a book.
It’s impossible to solve the incredible complexities of a marriage in this sort of format. But here are some thoughts;
The truth is men tend to feel good about themselves when they have sex, where women apparently are more likely to want sex when they feel good about themselves. There’s where the revolving door starts… Man has crummy day at work, comes home and doesn’t really want to rehash the day, but really would just like some intimacy to make his problems go away. (Life isn’t always this one-sided…this is just an example) Wife wants to tell him all about her day and hear all about his, but feels insignificant when he can’t handle the discussion and checks out, but then later wants physical intimacy. It isn’t clear to wife that sex makes him feel secure in his own home and loved when the rest of the world is crushing down on him. Over time, wife begins to resent husband’s lack of connection and as a result sex becomes less appealing and slows down. Husband feels rejected and lonely and draws even further away from wife and looks for things elsewhere to boost his self-esteem. And so on…
Then you add things to the mix like wife having weight issues / poor body image / insecurity, etc. Doesn’t like what’s in the mirror so she stops bothering to look good for husband – who actually thinks she’s beautiful regardless. Wife has reduced motivation to be provocative or initiate sex or even agree to sex at all anymore – and you have the perfect storm to spin into a couple times a month marriage.
I envy the guys who can constantly gush all over their wives after many years of marriage. Being able to continually make your wife always feel like the greatest thing in the world when real life comes along is tough.
Thinking through all if this – I’ve probably heard my wife say, “You think I’m stupid” or “I’m not stupid” a handful of times over the years. New goal is to never hear those words again. Chrissy – Love Language is another key – we have opposite love languages so it’s a challenge without continual effort. All the tips from the above posts are key too. I have to find ways to help her feel good about herself and continually express my love in tangible ways to meet her need of feeling connected. We’ll see if that’s enough to make a change – at least it’s a start.
It’s unfortunate love and marriage have to be so complicated…
Let’s see, no sex on either of our birthdays, nothing on Christmas, not New Years, and not on our anniversary. On valentines day she reluctantly had some quick lights off sex after a long day of being spoiled and romanced like crazy. Not that I’m keeping track, but it has been nearly two months since V-day, and probably 5 months since the previous encounter.
I respectfully pleaded with her over 18 months ago for more intimacy, an occasional massage, less rejection, and some initiating by her.
I have been as loving as possible, help out with chores and kids like no other husband around, focus my full attention on her and her love language, and try not to come across as needy or whiney for love making. And yet I continue to be crushed. Not once in the past year and a half has she even attempted to change anything that I asked her to. 3-4 times a year for the past 4 years. I think I’m done. Its not the lack of sex either, I can handle that, but I cannot deal with the total rejection and complete lack of emotional connection and non existent physical intimacy.
I’m ready to leave!
AMan, here’s another perspective that may help. We had some issues the first couple of years in our marriage. It was confusing–we dated for some time and waited to have sex until we were married. There seemed to be great chemistry and desire on both sides when we were dating, and we both thought post-marriage sex would only be more intense. It was not. The first two years found me avoiding and dreading sex with my sweet husband. I started to avoid any physical intimacy because I thought it might lead to sex. so things I used to enjoy (kissing, cuddling up next to him on the couch), I started to avoid as well. The rest of our relationship was amazing, but this area was a complete mess. After 2 years, my husband came to me and said every marriage has its struggles and he had come to a place of acceptance that this would be ours, but we loved each other so much and everything else was going so well, that he wasn’t going to press the issue any more. He had given up. (From reading this and other resources, I can only imagine the pain and rejection he felt, although he never mentioned it at the time.)
That was my wake up call. I hadn’t married him to have a good friend or a supportive roommate (although we are good friends and we both comment on this being the best extended sleepover). I sought a counselor specializing in sexual issues (recommended by my OBGYN after he confirmed there were no physical issues). After 2 months of counseling, I realized for me it was this simple: when we were dating, I knew he wanted me. There was no life long commitment and I knew that each date, each advance was an affirmation that he desired me over any other girl. My husband is such a wonderful man, and I KNOW that he would never cheat. Somehow that got turned around in my head to think that when he approached me after marriage that what he wanted was sex, not necessarily me, and I was just the only option for him to carry that out with. (I KNOW–what an unfortunate interpretation of a really good, loving man and what should have been the perfect environment of commitment and love to share our first and continuing sexual experiences.)
We have been married over 8 years now and sex/intimacy just keeps getting better. Which I say to encourage you that there can be solutions. And our relationship/sex counselor had some great suggestions that helped me work through my mental state and took a little pressure off the bedroom situation while we worked it out. I don’t know if your wife would be open to seeking professional help, but I think sometimes a qualified third party can see things or help us to see things that even our most loving, caring spouses cannot.
Another two months have gone by and I am still being ignored intimately.
For a long time I have believed her when she says she wants to work on improving this area of our relationship. But I’m quickly beginning to realize that she is just telling me what she thinks I want to hear. Sometimes our relationship struggles, sometimes I honestly believe that she conjurs up a reason to be upset with me in order to avoid the advance to initiate something intimate, but I am so resentful of her at this point that I cannot even begin to have a normal relationship with her outside of the bedroom.
I do my best to pretend, but my heart constantly aches and my mind cannot let go of the pain.
Which probably makes it difficult for the last few specks of desire in her to have any positive effect that would result in the two of us making love. But is it unrealistic to think that she might recall one of the many discussions we have had about how our entire relationship is better when we have connected physically? And for her to realize that it might take some physical connection and initiation on her part to begin to repair the damage?
If my erstwhile wife (and I now sadly hope soon to be ex-wife) was to ever engage in her rare sex granting during any particular special day, like a birthday or anniversary, then that would leave a little bit of crack where a tiny little bit of intimacy might creep in. Heaven forbid!
So she makes sure that her “seasonal” grantings of sex (about every three months if I am obedient) occur on a day of no special significance. Like I have been trying to describe, my wife has a serious phobia of intimacy if any kind and she has mastered an impressive array of elaborate techniques to forever keep intimacy at bay.
@Topper: I gotta tell ya, pal, your wife seems almost pathological and cruel. She sure is/was taking the marriage-is-a-prison-sentence approach and sticking celibacy to you with glee.
It gets weirder, WH. My wife, so long as I am being tractable and obedient, typically will spend much time wrapping some elaborate packaged gift for me on a birthday or anniversary. She is very arts-and-crafty and creative. (It makes me literally weep at the contrast she shows between her extreme creativity everywhere else in her life EXCEPT the bedroom.) So she will spend loads of time getting special gifts and elaborately wrapping them in unique, handcrafted ways.
However, she will NEVER grant me physical and verbal intimacy ever, and she will only very, very infrequently grant me perfunctory sex. No matter how many times I explain to her that what I REALLY want and need is intimacy of any kind, and more frequent sex, she will NOT grant me that. She is resolved to give me what she wants to give me, and on her terms. And it is up to me to be properly grateful.
Have I mentioned that she is a control freak?
@Topper: my answer would be the short one: I didn’t marry to be celibate, so get someone else to pay your bills…see ya!
Sadly, there are no “guaranteed” sex nights around here — birthday? no. ANNIVERSARY? no. Valentine’s? nope. New Year’s? You guessed it…uh-uh. We had two short vacation trips recently…still no sex.
I’m frustrated and perturbed. We have no kids, so that’s not an issue. She’s working; I’m presently unemployed (although working 20-40 hrs a week in our ministry) so I take care of the house and laundry. She wants me to scratch her back and massage her nearly every night, but rarely do we have sex afterward.
I’ve been praying that I would be a better husband, but I can only control what I do, not what she does. It’s a frustrating situation for certain.
@Josh: if you don’t force change, you’ll be making posts like you are 20 years from now. Your wife MUST make intimacy a priority or you’re headed for an affair. I have had good friends who NEVER would’ve EVER had an affair under a normal marriage end up having one after years of a marriage like yours. Fix this and fix it NOW. It’s fish or cut bait for your marriage, pal. It won’t get better unless you make it happen, I’m sorry to say.
@WH… Again , as I’ve indicated in other responses to your comments, I don’t think it’s wise counsel to assume that all marriages where sex is a struggle are careening toward an affair or divorce.
I allow most comments to go thru, because I’m not opposed to dialogue. I would hope though that no one is making decisions about divorce based upon the comments on a blog post.
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For the last several years, not even for my birthday or our anniversary. The dates they fell on didn’t match up with her hormonal cycle so the thought never crossed her mind. All sex is dependent on her hormones and there is no consideration for my needs or feelings. If we had “special occasion sex” it would at least mean that she was thinking about me on those days.