This post is, in part, a reply to some of the comments on my I sinned, I expect you to pay for that post. It is also a practical solution for something I see in many new marriages.
Young men are, in general, far more excited about sex than young women are. Some of this may be cultural, but I think a great deal of it is based on innate male/female differences. Men have a stronger physical drive, their genitals are out there for them to see and touch, the sight of their beloved naked drives them wild, and for men sex is easy, fast, sure to “work” (they reach climax) and low risk. Women tend to have less experience with their sexual parts, due to culture and to their bits being hidden. They have a much weaker physical drive, especially during their teens and twenties, and many can be content without the sexual part of a relationship. Finally, for women sex is not easy, or fast, or sure, and there are far more risks both real and imagined than for men. The first time we men learn sex involves our penis entering a woman’s body, we generally do not find the idea unpleasant. However, many women (most?) find the idea far from pleasant when they first learn about it! Sex is invasive for women, which makes it more personal and maybe a little threatening.
Based on this, even when a sexually inexperienced couple gets married, his sexual interest is significantly higher than hers is. She is thinking about moving to the foot of the mountain while he has long since started to climb. This difference creates a problems: he feels held back, and she feels dragged along. He is frustrated at her, and she at him. If the difference is not great, and they can both be loving and offer grace, they can work it out. The greater the difference in their starting places, the more trouble they are going to have. If he is well up the mountain before she even starts, the frustration and problems are significant, and without some help or one person sacrificing significantly, they are never going to be on the same level.
If he has used porn, he has moved up the mountain, possibly a great distance. This means the difference in their starting places is far greater than it would normally be, and they are going to have a very hard time. She needs to get her feet wet slowly, and he is way past that. He is too excited to slow down, which means she does not get what she needs. Sex becomes increasingly difficult, with him being frustrated she is so slow and far behind, while she is hurt he will not slow down so she has a chance to catch up. His porn use has caused a significant problem, and expecting her to catch up is not only wrong, it expects of her something she cannot possibly do.
The usual response from the man it to push for everything he wants. He does not simply push for more sex, he pushes for variety. She has not even gotten the basics down, and he is demanding things well beyond the basics. It is as if she is learning addition and he wants her to do algebra. She does not have the basis for what he wants, and no amount of complaining will change her ability. The nearly inevitable result of this is the woman pulls back sexually, in all ways. She says no more and more often because she feels she has no hope of ever satisfying him. Her best is not good enough, as he has made very clear to her, so why should she bother?
If the man has created the problem, then it seems he is the one who needs to change and sacrifice. Beyond this, on a practical level, it is the only real solution.
What exactly is the solution? Limit yourself to the basics – to the most vanilla of sex. I am not talking about sex without passion, just keep it simple. Kissing, manual breast play, manual stimulation of the genitals, and sex in a couple of basic, face-to-face positions; no oral sex, no wild lingerie, no sex toys, no rear entry, just simple sex. I realise this sounds boring if you have gone way beyond it in your mind with porn or in the flesh with some former girlfriend. Again, this is your sin and you, not your bride, should be the one who has to deal with your sin. I am not saying you should be punished; rather you need to limit your sex to the basics to give your bride a chance to become comfortable with sex. Let her learn how her body works, how your body works, how they fit together, and how great sex can be. Let her learn to feel a build-up of sexual tension and pleasure. Let her learn to climax with ease. Let her learn how to give you pleasure and to feel good about being able to do so
While you stick to the basics, work on having sex often. Practice does matter, so the more often you do it, the better. This is another reason to limit what you do – it is easier to get good at a few things than to work on many things at once.
This approach, with a focus on frequency and not on variety, is far more effective than trying for both more sex and more variety. This approach is one she can actually do, and it allows her to learn and grow.
Does this mean nothing but vanilla sex the rest of your life? First, realise a lot of great vanilla sex is better than what most men have. If you never have more, you still have a great deal – vanilla sex can be awesome. That said, the odds are she will eventually be open to more; she might even suggest more. If she feels comfortable with sex, if she enjoys it and knows she is making you feel good, she can risk moving beyond the basics. Once she has a solid foundation, trying to add more is no longer a scary thing. She will still have things she is unwilling to try, or things she tries and does not like, but that is different than feeling pressured to do things she does not even want to think about.
As someone suggested in the comments, this is how Lori and I handled it many years ago. And you know what? It worked. It took me a couple of years to wise up, and I did a lot of additional harm before I did, but once I backed off everything other than frequency things started to change. I gave her a safe place to heal, learn, and grow. I gave her a consistent goal, and she was able to find a way to meet the goal. We both felt a lot better once I backed off, and after that any growth (and there has been a lot more) was just a bonus.
Someone said in the comments this is not the only way to deal with this problem. I agree, it is not. However, it is successful far more often than any other way I have seen.
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