Going beyond physical sex drive.

This is a follow up on last Saturday’s post – Sex – more than one thing, more than one need. As I expected, I received some negative feedback on my suggestion that a woman can resolve the marital gridlock that comes from husband and wife having different sexual focus. My solution is for the wife to give her husband what he wants (followed, please note, by suggesting no guy tell his wife this).

Yes, I know how that sounds. My reason for suggesting this is that it’s easier for a woman to “just have sex” when she is not feeling it than for a man to have deeply intimate and loving sex when he is not feeling it. In fact, it’s impossible for a man (or a woman for that matter) to have intimate and loving sex when he’s not feeling it. Any attempt to do that would be lying, which is not going to help anyone. To be blunt, if he wants the physical and she wants the emotional, she can meet his need without faking it, but he can’t meet her need unless he fakes it.

If that was the end of it, she gives him what he wants and she gets nothing in return, it would be a rather sad situation and not a solution worth mentioning. Fortunately, that’s not the end of it. Last week I said that when a man’s Physiological sex need is not being taken care of, that leaves him unaware of, or unable to feel, his need for sexual intimacy. That does not mean he does not have a need for intimate, loving sex – it means he can’t feel that need when he is “hard up”. It’s not that it’s not there, rather he can’t feel it because of the overwhelming push of his Physiological drive. It’s like not being able to hear your cell phone ring in a noisy place – it’s ringing normally, but you can’t hear it. Reduce the noise, and you can hear the phone just fine. Dealing with a man’s Physiological sexual needs is like reducing the noise, allowing him to become aware of his emotional need for sexual intimacy.

My bride and I have heard from plenty of men and women who have experienced this – she makes a real effort to meet his physical need, and after a few weeks or months, he starts to feel the need for sex to be more than just physical – he starts to want sex to be intimate. Once he experiences that need, he is driven to fulfil it, just as he had been driven to fulfil the physical need. At that point, he starts to seek what his bride has been longing for, and that is a very good thing for both of them.

All of that is great, but again, I am primarily speaking to men here. Due to past injuries and a natural desire to protect one’s self, many women cannot hear or apply this message. So what is a guy to do? My suggestion is to realise the phone is ringing, even if you can’t hear it. Just because you don’t feel the need for sex to be intimate and loving, does not mean the need is not there. Ask you bride to describe what she feels and longs for, and accept on faith that below your need for release you feel something similar. If you were not “desperately horny” you would want more than just any sex you could get.  If you were physically satisfied, a diet of quickies, or sex just for release, could not satisfy you. If you were not feeling to desperately “hungry” you would desire sex to be intimate, romantic, and you would feel connected by sex. Try to feel the edge of that. Imagine how you might feel if you really were “getting enough”.

4 Comments on “Going beyond physical sex drive.

  1. Dear Paul,

    I follow BOTH your and Lori’s blogs on the Generous Husband and Wife. I have learned a lot, shared a few of both of your thoughts with my wife. I read both to try to get the other side’s perspective. I think you missed the mark on this last one a bit. Very important topic that as you know we all deal with to a degree. I believe your concept that for guys if they have enough physical that they will want more and their will be a win win…..however…. I think you left us all hanging by saying ….now deal with it but don’t share this blog with your wife. I understand how it could make her mad, but you did not really give us a fair action plan. How about asking Lori how she feels about it and how we men should encourage our wives to try this plan of action.

    Mark Hutchinson

  2. I think you are really on to something when you compare the physical need for food with the physical need for sex. I believe they are very similar and it is a similar crime to deprive someone of either. I think I will take the analogy further since it is something both men and women understand.

    We have all experienced times when we were starving and were given a great 5 course meal to eat. If we were really hungry, it is likely we just scarfed the food down without hardly tasting it, and we were probably justified in doing this. Our bodies need food and hunger is an awful state that affects our mood, our energy, and our ability to think straight. I imagine when we do this, we certainly enjoy the food, but from a much different point of view. Even bad food tastes good when we are hungry, but we’re doing little more than satisfying a need that will debilitate us otherwise.

    Now, imagine that same 5 course meal served to someone who is hungry but not starved. They have time to enjoy each course, salad, soup, bread, entre, and dessert. They savor each bite and actually have conversation in between. They can do this because they know their needs are being met and they don’t have to worry. They can do more than just satisfy a need but enjoy food it was meant to be enjoyed, the aromas, the textures, the way foods complement each other, and the satisfying feeling one has when they enjoy a well proportioned meal.

    The difference is virtually the same between a sex starved man ( or women for that matter) and one who’s needs are met regularly. It seems pretty simple what should be occurring.

    A more important point is that this is a very biblical approach to marriage. The author doesn’t directly point out, but it seems that he is basing his advice on 1 Corinthians 7:3-7. This is the best reason to take this advice. There really is no good reason to deny yourself to a faithful spouse. I know there are sometimes issues, but if you are not working to this end there is no way to meet the biblical standard.

    I also think this idea that guys just want their physical needs met is completely bogus. BOTH needs need to be met, and both are powerful. As far as I can tell someone made up this “fact” to try to make men look selfish (because of course physical needs are much less important that emotional needs). It is entirely wrong and falls apart on itself. If guys only wanted sex for physical needs, then they would get their needs met by, prostitutes, the internet, movies, and Victoria Secret catalogs. Men desire real women in relationships because they know the others can’t even come close to meeting their entire need.

    • @Take Two – I have used a similar food analogy, and I think it’s valid.

      I would agree that 1 Cor 7 tells us not to say no, and that this is the biblical way to do it. But I have had a lot of folks argue with me on that. I think it comes down to “the way you see that verse is not fair (to me) and I think God is fair so you must be wrong.” I think that is more justification than anything else, but it’s a road block none-the-less. My attempt here was to get past that road block by showing why what so many men face is very “unfair”.

      The selfish issue id on some levels another way of justifying what one is going to do anyway, but it’s become such a common mantra that I think some women accept it as a fact without really thinking about it. I often challenge a woman by asking her where else her husband is selfish. If she says sex is the only place, then suggest he is not a selfish person at all, and what she sees as selfishness sexually is really a result of her not understanding his need.

      Finally I agree we need all of the sexual areas to be met, but for the vast majority of guys the physical can drown out the others.

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