Wanting What Doesn’t Work for Her

March 9, 2013

in 2013 Awesome Husband, Seeing Clearly, Sexuality

Last week in Finding a Sex Life You Both Enjoy I discussed why I think arguing about what sex acts are required as part of “due benevolence” misses what God intends for sex. I then said, “The Biblical way is to focus on giving your wife what she wants, and trust God will move on her to do the same for you.”

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That didn’t sit well with some, as seen in both the comments and private emails. One argument is not doing certain things is withholding. It sounds good, it sounds right; and it makes her wrong and you right. You’re ready to give her anything while she’s only giving you bits and pieces. Right? I get it; been there, fussed a lot and hurt even more.

I don’t think the above is how it really is. Can I prove that? I’ll give it my best shot. Proving this is difficult because of a fundamental difference in how men and women see and feel about sex, so let’s look at those first.

Some of the differences are cultural/learned, but many are based on differences in sex organs and how our brains are wired. Any sex act providing a bit of friction to the head of the penis can result in male orgasm, usually easily and quickly. It’s true any sex act giving the clitoris good stimulation can result in orgasm, but a great many of the most common sex acts don’t give the clitoris good stimulation. Additionally, female orgasm takes longer than male orgasm. Even in solo masturbation, men can get there faster than women can. (While the fastest men and women can masturbate to orgasm varies only by a couple of minutes, the woman take several times as long.) Likewise, with most sexual contact, it will take her five or ten times as long to reach climax. This is biology, not something she chooses.

So here’s the deal, much of what you want her to do sexually is not going to get her to orgasm, or at least not unless it goes on for a very, very long time. In fact, much of it isn’t even going to do much to get her aroused.

Let me try to explain by suggesting some kinds of sex that would be better for her than for you.

  • Imagine her idea of sex was for you to get on all fours so she could rub her vulva against your rear until she climaxed. This would be excellent stimulation for her, but while it might excite you the first few times, there’s no way you would climax from it. So you complain it’s not working for you, and her response is if you need to help yourself out by touching your penis with your hands, it’s okay with her. You tell her no, that does not fix it, and you stop having sex in this way. She says you are withholding from her.
  • What if she could orgasm from breast stimulation (some women can) and she wanted most sex to be nothing other than touching each other’s breasts? She wonders aloud why you don’t climax this way, and suggests you have a problem and need to see a doctor.
  • Perhaps she wants to have sex fully clothed. She has no problem reaching orgasm through a pair of jeans, but it’s more difficult for you. She keeps going long after she is done “because she loves you” but it’s clear she is put out by having to do it.
  • Maybe her idea of fantastic sex is to spend several hours, having dozens (or more) orgasms and then being so sated she has no desire for a week. She feels cheated you won’t have many orgasms with her, choosing instead to spread them out one at a time every day or so. She accuses you of being sexually repressed.
  • What if she felt sex must include so many scented candles you could barely breathe, or a strobe light that made you want to throw up? She tells you it can’t be as bad as you claim, and asks for those things every other time you have sex.
  • How about this – she thinks seeing you in pink spandex from head to toe is a huge turn on. When you complain about how it makes you feel she acts hurt and mumbles about how your pride is more important to you than she is.
  • How would you feel if your wife “generously” offered to take care of you by hand after having any of the “real sex” above?

Yes, I know my examples are a bit contrived, but I can assure you most women will completely identify with the “what’s wrong with you” sentiments following each one. If most of what you heard from her about sex was a mixture of the above, might it cause you to be less interested in sex? It would certainly make you frustrated about sex! If the activities above were portrayed by media as right and normal, as the proper way to have sex, how might you start to feel about your sexuality?

If you want to make this go away, you can argue all the reasons my examples are silly and not the same thing as what you want. Alternatively, you could really think about it and try to understand how your wife feels. If you do the latter, you’ll be on your way to building a sex life both of you can enjoy (probably starting with a heart-felt apology for what you have unknowingly been doing to her over sex).

Tomorrow: A testimony and a great start on getting the sex life God intended you to have.

BTW, for those of you who complain my bride never tells the women to suck it up and have more sex, please see I Don’t Feel Like Having Sex.

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72 comments
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Rest of last comment.  It was too long. 

That really won't get what I want from him in the bedroom anyway. My plan is to make him feel confident in bed and maybe he'll one day venture out and we'll try some of the things I've mentioned to him. If we don't, I'm trying hard to focus and expound on the things I do love about our physical relationship. He said when he hardly got any at all for nearly a decade that he focused on how he got to watch me undress and touch my bottom around the house. He had to reach, but focusing on gratitude seemed to pull him through.

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Rest of last comment.  It was too long.  That really won't get what I want from him in the bedroom anyway. My plan is to make him feel confident in bed and maybe he'll one day venture out and we'll try some of the things I've mentioned to him. If we don't, I'm trying hard to focus and expound on the things I do love about our physical relationship. He said when he hardly got any at all for nearly a decade that he focused on how he got to watch me undress and touch my bottom around the house. He had to reach, but focusing on gratitude seemed to pull him through.

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I can't stop thinking about this. I can relate, but I've taken a different approach. I found my husband to be so boring in bed that I stopped having sex with him altogether. For years. The fact that I'm capable of that highlights a big difference between men and women, though, doesn't it? I did still masturbate. I'm sure it exacerbated the problem and enabled me to withhold. Anyway, I recently saw my selfish ways for what they were and completely turned around. I will do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. However, that means missionary sex every two days. I have written him lists of things I'd like to do in a sexy nonpressuring way and told him fantasies. I guess he's not interested. Well, I can sit around and focus on all of the things I'd like to do that I'm not (and we all know 90% of men in the world would be ecstatic), or I can focus on what I like about what I have. I focus on things like the way he smells, his thick hair, his strong arms, and I tell him how much I love these things while we make love. I want to build him up and make him feel confident. I don't want to make him feel insecure, or like he isn't enough.

business time
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I can't stop thinking about this. I can relate, but I've taken a different approach. I found my husband to be so boring in bed that I stopped having sex with him altogether. For years. The fact that I'm capable of that highlights a big difference between men and women, though, doesn't it? I did still masturbate. I'm sure it exacerbated the problem and enabled me to withhold. Anyway, I recently saw my selfish ways for what they were and completely turned around. I will do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. However, that means missionary sex every two days. I have written him lists of things I'd like to do in a sexy nonpressuring way and told him fantasies. I guess he's not interested. Well, I can sit around and focus on all of the things I'd like to do that I'm not (and we all know 90% of men in the world would be ecstatic), or I can focus on what I like about what I have. I focus on things like the way he smells, his thick hair, his strong arms, and I tell him how much I love these things while we make love. I want to build him up and make him feel confident. I don't want to make him feel insecure, or like he isn't enough.

business time
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When your spouse doesn't give you what you need, you just suck it up.  Bottom line.  You guys may want to read some of the Pearl's books.  Very legalistic, but they really hit home specific ways to do your job regardless of what your spouse is doing.  If Paul can have his legs broken multiple times with rods and praise the Lord in a sewer after being beaten, I suspect we can live in a trailor, go the rest of our lives without sex,  wear the same exact Goodwill clothes every day, live with a spouse who screams at us and calls us names, the list goes on!  Perpective!

business time
business time

When your spouse doesn't give you what you need, you just suck it up.  Bottom line.  You guys may want to read some of the Pearl's books.  Very legalistic, but they really hit home specific ways to do your job regardless of what your spouse is doing.  If Paul can have his legs broken multiple times with rods and praise the Lord in a sewer after being beaten, I suspect we can live in a trailor, go the rest of our lives without sex,  wear the same exact Goodwill clothes every day, live with a spouse who screams at us and calls us names, the list goes on!  Perpective!

jzchristiansen
jzchristiansen

I think that Love My Wife has hit the nail on the head here.

 

Your ministry is drifting in the direction of “blame it on the guy and encourage the girl.” Honestly, I was a pretty avid reader of your “the generous husband” until this post, now I have stopped reading it altogether.

 

I don't think I am alone.

 

The rub of it all is that I don't believe that your approach will actually result in a sex life that both husband and wife can live with. It will result in the kind of sex life that doesn't put any responsibility on the wife for her own sexuality and will eventually leave a husband working harder and harder for less and less.

 

In your last post on this topic you commented that you would address what a man should do if his wife only wanted a very limited menu when it comes to sexual variety. In this post you seem to be saying that as long as men get the necessary friction on their penises so that they can orgasm, the rest should be focused on conforming the marriage bed to the wife's preferences.

 

This isn't very mutual, it isn't very biblical and I daresay it won't lead to a sex life both can enjoy. It will lead the kind of sex life a man gives up on.

 

 

jzchristiansen
jzchristiansen

I think that Love My Wife has hit the nail on the head here.   Your ministry is drifting in the direction of “blame it on the guy and encourage the girl.” Honestly, I was a pretty avid reader of your “the generous husband” until this post, now I have stopped reading it altogether.   I don't think I am alone.   The rub of it all is that I don't believe that your approach will actually result in a sex life that both husband and wife can live with. It will result in the kind of sex life that doesn't put any responsibility on the wife for her own sexuality and will eventually leave a husband working harder and harder for less and less.   In your last post on this topic you commented that you would address what a man should do if his wife only wanted a very limited menu when it comes to sexual variety. In this post you seem to be saying that as long as men get the necessary friction on their penises so that they can orgasm, the rest should be focused on conforming the marriage bed to the wife's preferences.   This isn't very mutual, it isn't very biblical and I daresay it won't lead to a sex life both can enjoy. It will lead the kind of sex life a man gives up on.

NathanaelNeuenschwander
NathanaelNeuenschwander

Paul, this article....uh, confused me. Just to be fair, I had my wife read it too. It did not make any sense to her either. I understand that husbands should love their wives and that it can affect positive change. I did not get the idea put forth in the article starting with, "So here is the deal, much of what you want her to do sexually is not going to get her to orgasm,". If I really think hard about it, I wonder if you are talking to husbands who are insisting on sexual acts that result in their climax but do not help their bride to reach climax. Are you speaking to men who are insisting on oral sex or anal sex to climax? Most of the bedroom acts that I have discussed with my wife are in addition to or fit in well with acts that satisfy her. Most of what you write makes sense to me, at least most of the time, but I am confused this time around.

NathanaelNeuenschwander
NathanaelNeuenschwander

Paul, this article....uh, confused me. Just to be fair, I had my wife read it too. It did not make any sense to her either. I understand that husbands should love their wives and that it can affect positive change. I did not get the idea put forth in the article starting with, "So here is the deal, much of what you want her to do sexually is not going to get her to orgasm,". If I really think hard about it, I wonder if you are talking to husbands who are insisting on sexual acts that result in their climax but do not help their bride to reach climax. Are you speaking to men who are insisting on oral sex or anal sex to climax? Most of the bedroom acts that I have discussed with my wife are in addition to or fit in well with acts that satisfy her. Most of what you write makes sense to me, at least most of the time, but I am confused this time around.

allterrain
allterrain

I'm disappointed that you took the quote from my comment last week and used it out of context to try and prove your point.  In no way did I create the impression that the '7 things' my wife has said she will not do for me relate to an orgasm for me.  It's irresponsible and unfair to your readers for you misuse my quote to infer that I was asking my wife to do things that would result exclusively in an orgasm for me.  You read into my comment what you wanted to see and did not read my question in an unbiased manner.  In all honesty none of the seven things my wife has told me she would not do would result in an orgasm exclusively for me. They entail an orgasm exclusively for her, for both of us, are a matter of mood-setting, or relate to her discomfort with bodily fluids.  None are sinful, involve other people, or involve pain.  My question was simply how to handle an impasse when one spouse wants something and the other doesn't.  

 

It also isn't fair to me to conclude that my argument 'sounds good - it sounds right.  It makes her wrong and you right.'  You didn't quote from my comment that my desire is to be an Eph 5:25 husband that loves my wife like Christ loves the church.  I have no desire to be 'right.'  I only asked how to work through an impasse when one spouse wants something the other has no desire to fulfill.    

 

allterrain
allterrain

I'm disappointed that you took the quote from my comment last week and used it out of context to try and prove your point.  In no way did I create the impression that the '7 things' my wife has said she will not do for me relate to an orgasm for me.  It's irresponsible and unfair to your readers for you misuse my quote to infer that I was asking my wife to do things that would result exclusively in an orgasm for me.  You read into my comment what you wanted to see and did not read my question in an unbiased manner.  In all honesty none of the seven things my wife has told me she would not do would result in an orgasm exclusively for me. They entail an orgasm exclusively for her, for both of us, are a matter of mood-setting, or relate to her discomfort with bodily fluids.  None are sinful, involve other people, or involve pain.  My question was simply how to handle an impasse when one spouse wants something and the other doesn't.     It also isn't fair to me to conclude that my argument 'sounds good - it sounds right.  It makes her wrong and you right.'  You didn't quote from my comment that my desire is to be an Eph 5:25 husband that loves my wife like Christ loves the church.  I have no desire to be 'right.'  I only asked how to work through an impasse when one spouse wants something the other has no desire to fulfill.

cabinetmaker
cabinetmaker

Paul, I got to admit you've got a lot of good things to say and I agree with some of your thinking, so please don't take this the wrong way...but you've gotten to the point where you are 90% what is important to the woman and 10% what is important to the man.  I want my wife 100% happy....but  she understands that's not going to happen if I'm following her around like a puppy dog trying to take care of her every need.   You've become an apolagist for/towards men.  You've become a just take care of your wife and she'll take care of you and that's your message, you just frame it a 1,000 different ways.  And I don't mean take care of your wife in a realistic, godly, biblical mutually benefical way, but in the way she frames it.  Sometimes I think you think the female brain or heart is what true north is. I hate to tell you, but that isn't always true or sometimes even mostly true.  I get what you are saying here, but do you understand how many times a day I do something that I get no gratification out of except that it makes my wife happy.  Why is that too much to ask for in return sometimes?  My wife finally got it after thirteen long years, but seriously man....  Please keep telling men to love their wives as Christ loved the church, but could you please put a cork into running men into the ground every chance you get?  That's honestly how you've been coming across in not only your posts her, but in posts I've seen in To Love, Honor and Vacuum, Hot, holy & humorous, and Warrior Wives.

cabinetmaker
cabinetmaker

Paul,

I got to admit you've got a lot of good things to say and I agree with some of your thinking, so please don't take this the wrong way...but you've gotten to the point where you are 90% what is important to the woman and 10% what is important to the man.  I want my wife 100% happy....but  she understands that's not going to happen if I'm following her around like a puppy dog trying to take care of her every need.   You've become an apolagist for/towards men.  You've become a just take care of your wife and she'll take care of you and that's your message, you just frame it a 1,000 different ways.  And I don't mean take care of your wife in a realistic, godly, biblical mutually benefical way, but in the way she frames it.  Sometimes I think you think the female brain or heart is what true north is. I hate to tell you, but that isn't always true or sometimes even mostly true.  I get what you are saying here, but do you understand how many times a day I do something that I get no gratification out of except that it makes my wife happy.  Why is that too much to ask for in return sometimes?  My wife finally got it after thirteen long years, but seriously man....  Please keep telling men to love their wives as Christ loved the church, but could you please put a cork into running men into the ground every chance you get?  That's honestly how you've been coming across in not only your posts her, but in posts I've seen in To Love, Honor and Vacuum, Hot, holy & humorous, and Warrior Wives.

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