I meet and hear from a lot of wives who don’t like sex.
Not all of them hate it per se, but they really could “take it or leave it,” as the old saying goes.
And most would prefer to “leave it.”
To another day. Another time. Waaayyyy down the road. Or never.
If given the option between sex and just about anything else, they would lock their eyes squarely on “anything else.”
A bottle of wine with friends? Yes.
An hour cruising Pinterest? Yes.
Extra time at the office or the gym? Yes.
Sleep? Yes. Yes. And Yes again.
But sex? Ehhh. Not so much.
No surprise, but this laissez faire approach to sexual intimacy in marriage is not exactly doing wonders for their relationship. (More on laissez faire later, because ironically I think it is what more marriages need, sexually speaking).
I know right now, some of you are doing mental gymnastics, rationalizing that your husband doesn’t really care about your indifference about sex, because he stopped asking (sulking, complaining, begging) for it so long ago.
The sex issue is a non-issue in your marriage, right?
Righhhttt. (Let the voice in your head sound all sarcastic when you say right.)
Where was I?
Oh yeah, you not liking sex in your marriage.
(I’m thinking some of you are still hanging in there with me now, still reading, still wanting to get to the part where I tell you 5 ways to start liking sex in your marriage. Such an optimist I am. But seriously, thank you for sticking around.)
Here are 5 ways to like sex in your marriage.
I suggest you try them all (you know, just to increase the odds that one will be the golden ticket to incredible sexual intimacy in your marriage).
1. Learn to enjoy orgasm.
Oh my goodness. It’s like this is my mantra. Maybe because I am so baffled how anyone could experience an orgasm and not want to experience it often again.
Orgasm is a learned art, despite what all the romantic comedy movies would have us believe. So if you have never had one or if you have difficulty having one or if you think it doesn’t matter if you ever have one, then I prayerfully ask you to listen to me.
Your sexual pleasure matters. It does. You’ve downplayed it for too long. Made it out to be a fringe benefit rather than the real deal, all the while thinking you could check sex off your list as long as he climaxed.
I’ve dedicated an entire page on my site to posts about orgasm. Worth perusing if experiencing orgasm has been a struggle for you.
2. If you are on hormonal birth control, consider using something else.
Not gonna lie. The pill (and most hormonal forms of birth control) potentially has the effect of killing your sex drive.
Yes, I know. Sex drive is a complex thingy that takes its cues from many factors (relationship issues, stress and so forth). But the reality is that hormonal birth control can have a huge impact as well.
I’m not a doctor, so don’t make decisions based on me. BUT, I will tell you this. With hormonal birth control, the natural cycles of heightened desire that God designed are essentially bypassed. Flattened. Squashed. Sabotaged. Not for all women, but for a lot of women.
How do I know all this? Well, in my first marriage, I was on the pill and had no idea of its known negative effect on sex drive. And by “known,” I mean known by doctors, but not always openly talked about with patients.
I’m not bashing the medical profession. I’m just saying that if you have low sex drive and you are on hormonal birth control, you’d be wise to consider there might be a connection.
Read the fine print. Talk to your doctor. Talk to your husband. Maybe a different form of birth control would be better for your marriage.
3. Deal with your past issues.
No big revelation here, but if you don’t like sex because of past experiences you haven’t healed from or dealt with, then it may well be time to get real about getting healthy.
That’s hard. I know. Especially if some of those past issues are sexual abuse or sexual promiscuity or lies told to you by otherwise well-meaning Christians.
At some point you have to start counting the costs of not just what those past experiences did to you then, but also (and maybe more importantly) what they are doing to your marriage now.
4. Enjoy the sexual power you have over your husband.
Sadly, a lot of women understand sexual power — but in the worst manipulative passive aggressive way.
They use sex as a bargaining chip, reducing profound sexual intimacy to nothing more than leverage for what they want. Or they tease sexually, but don’t follow through (which husbands will say is a mild form of torture that destroys their sense of manhood).
But sexual power really is a good thing.
You, as a wife, are the one to whom God has granted full sexual access to your husband. You are the one who gets the privilege in the most private of settings to arouse your husband, to discover what brings him to the edge of ecstasy.
You. Are. The. One.
Why would you want to give that power up when you can truly use it to show love to the man you married?
For more reading on this, consider 3 Things Your Husband Wants in Bed, 3 Secrets to Amazing Oral Sex and 5 Ways to Sexually Please Your Husband.
5. Embrace a positive approach to laissez faire, sexually speaking.
I said I would come back to this phrase laissez faire. The definition of laissez faire is “an attitude of letting things take their own course, without interfering.”
Couples with the most mutually-satisfying sexual intimacy in their marriage usually have this thread in common: They nurture sex in such a way that it is intricately woven into the fabric of how they do life.
Sex is not a separate component to their relationship. It is core to their relationship.
God wired into marriage this aspect of sexual connection. And when we stop interfering with that course — when we stop making excuses as to why sex can’t happen — we discover that sexual intimacy impacts everything else.
Do you want to like sex in your marriage? Did any of the above 5 points open your eyes as to why you don’t like it?
Copyright 2014, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
26 thoughts on “5 Ways to Like Sex in Your Marriage”
As a single (and hopeing to marry) woman, I honestly don’t understand why people get married if they don’t want to have the sexual dimension in their lives. That beats me… Call me primitive, but I always assumed that marrying someone means that one finds that person attractive enough. No one in the West is forced to marry against their will, so why not stay celibate and single instead? *shaking my head*
@NGal – I am with you, and I have been married for 21 years. My gut feeling why a lot of women marry, is that they are attracted initially, but that eventually fades. I also think some women get married, because they want to have a family.
I wish more people would read Julie’s blog, since she has a lot of wisdom written here.
One of the problems that’s so rarely noted in the pursuit of liking sex is the issue of health, and how that impacts how much you can like (want/anticipate/desire/work for) sex in marriage.
My wife regularly gets UTIs and yeast infections after sex… it’s such a big downer. We make sure our hygiene is good before sex (almost always a shower before sex), and she urinates every time after having sex. The knowledge that–probably–1 out of every 4 times we have sex she has to deal with a UTI makes it really hard for her to want sex–let alone work toward wanting it. Just doesn’t seem like there’s much we can do to deal with this issue…
In the end, I feel somewhat guilty for wanting something that so often causes so much discomfort for her… It’s hard to like something (for her and for me) that can result in so much discomfort.
“Laissez-faire” can also be translated “let them do as they will” 😉 Instead of thinking of reasons to say no, just say yes. If your husband (or wife) is particularly frustrated, the first five days in a row that you say “yes” might be pretty rough and tumble… but your spouse will mellow when they realize that you’re just going to keep saying yes. If you haven’t already, that’s the time to start working on those orgasms.
Ladies, I am directing this comment specifically at you. For the last three years, I have heard every excuse as to why her sex drive just isnt there right now… every excuse you can possibly muster.
I am in shape, an ex male model, a six figure earner, and a devout Christian and husband. I dont abuse, I dont grovel, and I understand how to please a woman. I also understand there is a point when a spouse becomes so incredibly selfish that it is time to say goodbye.
Please understand this…marriage without sex is not Biblical. It is the antithesis of how God tells us to serve our spouse with our hearts, bodies, and minds. There is no excuse. Just as there is not excuse for me to neglect my family financially or emotionally, there is never a reason for a wife to reject her husband because “she just doesnt feel like it.”
We were called to serve one another physically, to minimize the physical and psychological temptation.
As I pack my bags this weekend to move out, these are the sad stories on my mind.
How can a wife enjoy an orgasm maybe a few times a year, and then all the rest of the time say “I hate orgasms, and I do not need them, and I do not want to hear those words [orgasm & clitoris], because they are disgusting” ? God created that one organ in the female body for no purpose other than pleasure; this should be evidence that God wants wives to enjoy pleasure, and it is not sinful. Maybe the wife needs a tattoo on her hand “I like sex” as a reminder. And I realize sometimes husbands can be guilty of not showing loving attention to their wives.
And if your spouse holds his/her parents in priority over you, then it is hard to see you both as being in a separate one-flesh union. Ephesians 5:31
If your spouse is enraptured by TV (6-8 hours on work days and up to 18 hours on free days) and then says there is no time for you, it makes you wonder if you are really married, or only co-existing as economic partners.
In today’s world if one spouse does not want to connect regularly with the other spouse sexually/emotionally, then there is the tendency for the defrauded spouse to seek and find others who will provide affirmation and appreciation, even if only by written messages. These actions are against our Christian morality, but such is the reality sometimes in human interactions.
Item No. 4 is so accurate. The sexual power of a wife is so instrumental to contributing to a loving and joyful marriage, if used properly. Proverbs 14:1 As I read once on Sheila’s blog it is usually easier for a husband to respond favorably to a wife’s goodwill toward him, than vice versa.
(in the section “Men really aren’t complicated”)
Julie, thanks always for all your articles, as we almost never hear these topics addressed in church. It seems as if leaders in the church feel significant portions of the Bible are taboo.
@NGal I will share my experience and maybe that will shed some light on why articles like this are necessary and encouraging.
I could not wait to have sex-but I did (still glad I did) and I was 29 when I got married. I’ve always been very sexual and not embarrassed by sex-my parents talked with me appropriately and openly about it. It seemed I was on the best path for an awesome married sex life…except sex was not what I expected it to be. It was disappointing at first, to be honest.
It was much harder than I expected. Until I had a child, intercourse was uncomfortable (I couldn’t get tampons in either before marriage). My husband could get me to orgasm with outside clitoral stimulation, but never intercourse. Also, my husband has an issue that should be every woman’s dream in that he takes forever to orgasm-except it started frustrating me because intercourse was uncomfortable. Also, I’m impatient. Then, when intercourse started feeling good, it would trigger some emotional reaction in me and I would uncontrollably bawl-kind of killed the mood.
SO, I started pulling away and then he felt rejected, so he started pulling away and our sex life was not very existent for a while. I was so disappointed-I knew in my head that sex didn’t look like it does in the movies, but I wanted it to-I wanted it to be easy and super romantic every time. I even admit I was immaturely angry at God. I mean, I WAITED 29 years and did nothing with noone-didn’t I deserve an easy and awesome sex life?! (Hint: we don’t deserve anything :-))
My temptation in everything in life is when things get hard, to hide, so that’s what I did. Avoiding sex was easy because I had done it for 29 years-surpressing sexual desire was second nature to me by then. (I still think it is best to wait and stay pure-minded too, but perhaps the church needs to teach how to do this properly and better so there’s no negative affect later on).
My husband and I are doing much better now as we both give away selfishness. I am practicing to say yes when I don’t feel like it and practicing to go for it and initiate when I feel the desire first.
SO in short-I got married wanting sex, yes, and my attraction level toward my husband has only gotten stronger, but disappointment and half-truths led me to avoid it later on. It takes work and selflessness.
Also, I am sure Julie has mentioned this before-but the more you have sex with your spouse, the more you desire sex and the less you have sex, then the less you desire sex. I’ve learned when in a rut, it’s best to just suck it up and do it-it will pay off later.
I’m with you!! I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to have sex with your husband. *smh* especially when you find that one you have an indescribable connection with!
I look forward to the day I’m married and can have a sleepover with my best friend every night!! 🙂
I don’t want to provide yet another excuse for not finding pleasure in sex but I was wondering, is it possible that there is a hormonal issue at work for some women. For women that DO orgasm but find no compelling pleasure is it possible they do not experience the typical hormone flood that is almost addictive and make sexual release so highly desirable? I have not seen any numeric data or studies that either support or disprove such a hypothesis.
I can understand the women who do not desire sex because they DO NOT orgasm. As a man, if I never had an orgasm I would not want to become aroused and sexually engaged with no prospect of release.
There are so many good points here. Orgasm is a learned art. Getting real and getting healed of past hurts. Your sexual pleasure matters. Stop making excuses about why sex can’t happen.
I’ve read this post twice because it resonates so strongly with my own marriage. So many of our issues are reflected in your insights — insights I’ve wished for decades that my wife and I would’ve put into practice. That we could’ve but didn’t. Your admonition to wives that they have sexual power over their husbands is SO right on, but SO seldom acknowledged or acted upon.
I want to thank you for the courage to express these thoughts in such helpful ways. I’ll be back reading more of your blog soon.
April: Thanks for sharing something that personal. I’m sorry for the discomfort and pain you’ve been through (physically and emotionally), but it’s great you both are working towards a solution and better marriage. (That’s something I wish I, as a single woman, could do, but of course prayer is the greatest investment for any area of our lives.)
I can see how things don’t always work out like they’re supposed to… but at least you both said ‘I do’, and still mean it… I’m much older than you, and many of us single Christians are well aware that no, we cannot deserve anything by avoiding sin… we seek to obey God, because He has first loved us and called us to live for His glory.
By the way – it would be helpful that there are women who indeed don’t easily climax – but they should not be made to feel inferior. The goal should not be to try to get a woman to climax, but to make her feel loved… perhaps many would enjoy and relax much more, if their men didn’t force them to have an orgasm at any price… Trying to force something can easily become a form of abuse / control. I sure hope my future husband won’t try to force me to react in any way that is not natural.
While it may seem unfair that women ‘have the sexual power’, it is still better than what has happened in many cultures for thousands of years – historically, in many societies, women have been little more than cattle and treated as their husbands’ property, so wives have had no choice but to submit to the sexual demands, no matter how cruel, uncaring and brutish the men.
In an ideal world, no one would ever have to suffer rejection. Still, free will is the price we pay for love: even God gave us the choice to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. He wanted no robots!
@Dan, this is me! In regards to the first bullet point, it is very very hard for me to orgasm, and when I do, I feel cheated, like “that was it? That is what I worked hard at achieving?”. Perhaps if I experienced something earth shattering like people say then maybe I would want to do it again, but that is not what it feels like. Its more like people tell you a tsunami is coming and you get this little wave that barely touches your toes. I’m actually going next month to check my hormones. Sex is often uncomfortable and boring at best. We have done it all, but its just a lot of work for nothing that makes me want to do it again. I wish I could feel what he does, perhaps its just not in the cards for me. 99.9% of the time its just for him. I would do anything to not have to, but I made a vow and I will honor it and put me aside. I’ve been married almost 9 years and sex is the only thing hurting in my marriage. So in short, yes, I believe (or at least am hoping) that there is a hormonal component behind this and one that may be able to be repaired.
I think it is very sad that either partner in a marriage does not want to have sex. I think it is a sign of a deeper problem. If you do not desire having sex, then you need to take a look at what is going on your marriage.
As we are aware, good communication is indispensable for a successful marriage. Yet it requires hard work, concentrated effort, and much patience with each other. The daily stress and strain of living together can create barriers that can weaken or destroy that spontaneous openness we once had in our marriages. Its important to find the right time and quiet place to talk. Be honest. Listen. Let love prevail. Love gives and forgives, accepts and adjusts. Persons who communicate well can do the same.
Keelie hits the nail on the head with her response. There are no valid excuses for not wanting sex with your spouse, unless it is medical. A spouse that makes up excuses is just trying to justify it to themselves to avoid guilt, because they are no longer “connected” to their partner. You can’t have a great marriage without great sex and bad sex equals bad marriage. A lot of authors will agree that sex is the marriage barometer.
Thomas, is right as well in that a sexless marriage isn’t Biblical and not part of God’s plan and is a form of rejection to Him.
I struggle with that because my wife has no interest, but gave in to boring mechanical sex once a month or so and for me, the hurt was less just doing without, so I quit asking. We have had a one sided marriage for years, with me doing all the communicating. As long as we don’t fight, which we don’t, she is perfectly happy. We’ve gone 4 months without even blinking??
I have been married for 13 years and I am one of the women who “could leave it”. I’ve been a Christian since I was a teen, so I believed the hype and decided to wait until marriage to have sex…I HATE to admit this but that is one of my biggest regrets. My husband and I are completely incompatible sexually, but I had no way if knowing that we were since I was so inexperienced…I LOVE JESUS, therein lies my struggle as my fidelity has been tempted (many times), there is always the question of what I’ve missed; so I keep trying with my husband and it just gets worse and worse
(Unbelievable right?).It’s really sad because realistically I face a life of remembering the one orgasm of 2002…and nothing else. My husband is a minister who actually does premarital counseling for our church, and sometimes I think we are the ones who need counsel (sexual that is). We happen to get along great in so many other ways but….
My wife is more of the “could leave it” crowd. I love her dearly and it is difficult for me to think of criticizing her…honor your spouse. But…this is causing me to feel unloved…worse yet, unlovable. I love to please her during sex but I don’t sense the feeling is mutual or maybe I miss understand her.
I just don’t get it and if I try to talk about it she says I am obseesed. We average less then once month so maybe it is an obsession in my mind that is turning into depression and resentment. I feel lonely and lost.
Based on all I have read and learned in the past several months, a husband’s need for sex with his wife is (generally speaking) much more intense and significant than is her need for sex with him. She is not likely to be blinded by her sex drive and unable to focus on her work. Nor is she likely to feel she can go out and conquer the world the day after having sex with her husband. Sex does not accomplish for her what it accomplishes for him.
This basic truth may be difficult for husbands to accept because it means the playing field is not level and she is in the position of power. That we are all reading a post entitled “Five ways to like sex…” speaks to this truth. If we must find ways to like it, we must not be needing it. How many husbands are reading up on ways to like sex? For them, liking sex is akin to breathing.
Frankly, this power I have in my marriage is a bit frightening. It comes with great responsibility which I have not always met with integrity. There is nothing I look to my husband to provide that can compare with his need for me.
I just wanted to drop back in again to say a few more things. Some have stated that if one spouse does not want sex in a marriage then there is a deeper problem. Where there may be plenty of cases where this rings true, mine really wasn’t the case. Everything about my marriage is wonderful except the sex. So I went to my doctor to have some blood work done. Turns out my hormones are almost non existent, but estrogen very high. I also was very low in vitamins which was a big reason I truly felt so tired all the time. I am currently on my way to getting them all balanced out and already notice a difference. I just want to say that sometimes it really is only biology messing things up, not deeper seeded issues.
Pingback: What Do You Like About Sex?
Men stop asking because when the refusals get into the 100s it becomes embarrassing and degrading. I refuse to be the little puppy dog who always comes running to his master trying to please her when she just doesn’t like caring for a dog. So to men—just quit petting her everyday. Quit commenting on how beautiful she is. Or how sexy she looks. Stop bringing a surprise rose. Stop putting surprise love cards on her pillow. Quit “Puppy Dogging Up For Sex.”
THAT was not God’s plan for you. You would never have married her if she treated you this way during “the Chase.” I don’t have an answer after all these years. It usually only take a few months to a year post marriage for THIS to begin. If you read Christian Blogs by honest women themselves–it is epidemic. So unfortunate that God’s plan is destroyed by your life partner.
And YES I know it does happen infrequently to WOMEN as well.
Pingback: What Do You Like About Sex? | Engaged Marriage
Out problem is biological
Pingback: My Top Sex Posts of All Time | Intimacy in Marriage