She feels it’s wrong/bad/dirty/shameful/sinful

This is another in the series How do you get an uninterested or unwilling wife to have more sex?

Unfortunately, it’s fairly common for women to limit, refuse, or have but not enjoy sex because of negative feeling about sex. A few reasons:

  • Negative body image: This can be about her body as a whole, or about her sex organs, or both. She may have a desperate need to avoid being seen naked, or to keep you from ever seeing her genitals. Sex in the dark may help, but that’s less than a real fix. Repeatedly telling her that you like how she looks can help, but may take years to make a real difference.
  • Sex is dirty: This is a learned thing – most often from her mother. If it’s dirty, why would she want to do it, and if she did it, why would she enjoy it? This is a tough one to deal with because it’s roots generally go back past her earliest memories, and this makes them very difficult to understand or even know. Prayer, time, patience, and if possible counselling are the key here.
  • She feels guilty for having sex: Sometimes the “sex is wrong” message that was intend to keep her from having sex before marriage keeps on living in her head after marriage. Intellectually she knows it’s okay, but she still feels guilty and that causes her problems. This is similar to the above, but generally not as difficult.  Hearing sex positive message from friends, books, or blogs can help.
  • She feels guilty for enjoying sex: Some women are fine with sex, as long as they don’t enjoy it. But if they start to enjoy it, then it’s a problem for them. It’s not rational, and she most likely doesn’t even know what is going on. If she can face the issue, she can probably work through it – the problem is getting her to see what’s going on.  Premarital sex, with you or someone else, may play a part in this – she may be punishing herself (and/or you) for premarital sex by not enjoying it now.
  • She feels guilty if she enjoys sex “too much”, or “too often”: This is the same as above, but even trickier because she’s fine as long as her enjoyment doesn’t pass some internal limit. So, for example, it’s okay for her to have sex and climax twice a week, but no more. It might be okay to have sex five times a week, as long as she doesn’t climax more than twice. Often this first shows up when sex starts to get better for a couple.

For the Christian woman most of these things are tricky. The Word of God is actually very “sex positive” for sex in marriage, but a lot of dishonest interpretation of what the Bible says about sex has occurred over the centuries and much of that is still thought and/or taught by some. The truth is there for those who are willing to dig for it.  Below are a couple of books that are very good in this area.

Intimate Issues Linda Dillow & Lorraine Pintus  

Intimate Issues is a remarkable book for women about married sexuality. Comes with a twelve-week Bible study.
Sheet Music
Dr. Kevin Leman 

Sheet Music is subtitled Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage. This book is a frank discussion of the many things that can build a wonderful sex life.

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One Comment on “She feels it’s wrong/bad/dirty/shameful/sinful

  1. My wife and I just had a rare and very honest talk about our sex life yesterday in which she told me for the first time that the reason she limits creativity in bed is because she does not feel she looks sexy and so she doesn’t like to do anything really romantic or playful. She is overweight which contributes to this belief. I have told her since we met 13 years ago that I think she’s beautiful, but this doesn’t seem to be making much of a dent. How can I help her see herself as I do? How can I help her get past these negative feelings so we can both enjoy each other more?

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