Sex – where selfishness can be good for your spouse?
A while back I read an article entitled “Sexual self-focus does not lead to sexual dissatisfaction”. The story discusses a paper by graduate student Hayley Leveque and Prof. Cory Pederson that looked at why people have sex at various ages, and how their reasons for having sex affect their partners sexual satisfaction.
For those between 18 to 25, the primary sexual motivation was “self-focused” – having sex because of one’s own desires of for one’s own pleasure. For those over 30 self-focus is less common, with primary motivations being a desire to show love, to give one’s partner pleasure, or just out of habit.
The researchers had expected self-focus to correlate to lower partner satisfaction, but their survey results did not show that result. In reality, sexual satisfaction went down with time, just as self-focus went down, and it was suggested that the high excitement that comes with sexual self-focus results in better sex for both. I don’t think the research proves this conclusion – “correlation does not mean causation” – but I do agree with their explanation: “In hindsight, it makes sense that if a person is NOT sexually excited, but has sex anyway, that will become obvious to a partner and lead to greater sexual dissatisfaction and eventual relationship discord.”
I would say the best sex comes with a mix of self-focus and other-focus. Wanting sex for one’s own pleasure adds heat to the sex act, and when both husband and wife bring that to the bed, the sex can be extraordinary. However, without some concern for our spouse’s pleasure, it becomes a matter of two people each trying to “get theirs” before or even at the expense of the other.
I’d like you gentlemen to take several things away from this:
Your desire to have sex for you is not bad, and it’s actually needed for sex to be great for your bride.
If you don’t balance that “sex for me” desire with concern for her pleasure, you will both get less out of sex than you could.
If your bride does not want sex for herself, neither of you is enjoying sex as you could. This means things that “pushing her” to the edge of her comfort may hurt your sex life by reducing her raw desire for sex.
So, you will ask, how do you get her to want sex if she does not? My ten part series “How do you get an uninterested or unwilling wife to have more sex?” Has some ideas on that.