Why wives say no to sex, and what a man can do about it.
Last week we ran a facebook poll asking why women (and men) say no to sex. So far we’ve had 171 women answer (some only after my bride assured them it was anonymous!).
As with any web based survey I can’t claim the results are representative of the population as a whole, but I can tell you they fall in line with what we and others hear over and over from women. This won’t apply to all women, but if your bride hasn’t suffered significant sexual abuse, is not inherently against sex, and isn’t just plain selfish, there’s a good chance this speaks for her fairly well. I’ve put the full responses, plus comments, at the end, after my thoughts.
- Too tired: Two-thirds of the women said they say no because they are too tired, and half said they say no because it’s late or they have to get up early. I know tired sounds like an excuse to men, but please realise sex takes more energy for women, especially if they want to climax. We can have a quickie, climax, roll over and be asleep all in ten minutes, but this just leaves a woman horny, frustrated, and unable to get to sleep. If she’s tired to start with, climax is going to be difficult at best, and maybe just not worth the effort. (Note 16% said they say no because “It would take way too much time and effort to climax.”) So, if you want more sex, your number one job is to find a way for your bride to get more rest and better sleep. Nothing else will have as much of an effect, and for most women nothing else can have an effect until the exhaustion issue is resolved.
- Not connected: The next biggie, at 44%, was not having connected emotionally. Women need to be connected on a heart level to want and enjoy connecting physically. They can have sex without emotional connection, but they won’t want it, and probably won’t enjoy it. (BTW, an orgasm does not mean she enjoyed it – really). So, if you want more sex, your number two job is building your relationship. This doesn’t mean being lovey-dovey an hour before you ask for sex! Work on the relationship 24/7 and she’ll be more open to sex in general.
- Stress!: Thirty percent of women say no due to stress. Some women manage to get to the place where sex is a stress reliever, but this is not the norm. For most women stress kills both their sex drive and their ability to respond sexually. So, if you want more sex, your number three job is to be aware of your bride’s stress level and find ways to help her. This is neither an easy nor quick task, but you can do things to help her with stress.
- He’s rude!: More than a quarter of women have said no because of recent rudeness on the part of their husband. So, if you want more sex, your number four job is to stop being rude. Again, this doesn’t mean just the hours leading up to bedtime; it means trying to never be rude, and admitting it and apologising when you are rude.
- OUCH! One woman in five said they have said no because of physical pain. (This was the most surprising result to me, I’d have expected about half that rate.) There’s no breakdown of the pain, although several women indicated period related pain in the comments. Husband being too rough was 3.5%, so most of this pain is something else. Learn to know when she’s in pain, and find ways to help her reduce pain. You might also be able to have sex if you are willing to do something other than intercourse. Orgasm is a great pain-killer, and if she learns you can give her an orgasm without hurting her she may have a new motivation to say yes!
- Wrong message: A little more than one woman in six says no because things are not okay in the relationship and she knows her husband takes sex as proof everything is okay. This does NOT mean she’s saying no because of the problems, but because she doesn’t want to wrongly communicate the problems are resolved or are no big deal. If you will learn sex is not an indication everything is fine, and if you can communicate that understanding to her, she may well be more open to sex. She may be willing to set the problems aside and enjoy sex with you if she knows you’ll still be willing to deal with the problems later.
- I hate how I look!: Also at about one women in six are women so distressed by how they look they say no to sex. And, for each woman who says no, there are a several more who say yes but struggle to enjoy because they feel self-conscious. This is a huge issue, and one you need to work on steadily if you want to help her feel better about her body.
- It’s all he wants: While “I feel it’s all he wants me for” was fairly low, at 15%, it still means plenty of women feel this way. They may or may not be right, but it’s killing the couple’s sex life.
- Ready fire aim: A lack of foreplay was a reason for refusing for one woman in eight. However, I suspect even more would say they don’t enjoy sex much due to a lack of foreplay. It’s nice this was fairly low, and it’s an easy thing to fix.
- All the rest: The remaining ten answers were chosen by fewer than 10% of those answering.
WOMEN: Why do you say no to sex?
Too tried 66.7%
It’s late and/or getting up early in the morning 49.1%
We have not connected emotionally 44.4%
He’s been rude to me recently 29.2%
Physical pain 19.9%
He thinks it means everything is okay, and it’s not 17.5%
It would take way to much time and effort to climax 16.4%
I don’t like how I look 16.4%
I feel it’s all he wants me for 15.2%
There is never enough foreplay 12.3%
I’ve rarely or never climax 8.8%
Not enough privacy 8.8%
He does not turn me on 7.6%
He does not take care of me; when he’s done, he thinks it’s over 7.6%
He smells bad 7.0%
If I do, he “wins” 5.8%
He’s too rough 3.5%
He always wants to do things I don’t like 2.9%
I think sex is wrong or gross 1.8%
I just don’t love him anymore 1.2%
Comments from the women:
- I never say no. I have even told my husband that i’m up for it anytime he wants it. ;)
- usually it’s just that one of us is not comfortable, physically, mentally, or just with the environment.
- He lies to me. I can’t trust him.
- Sometimes I just feel gross, like I’m not clean enough or whatnot.
- “that” time of the month
- young children :)
- When I’m not feeling healthy
- He has said no to me so many times, that I can barely be in the mood!
- I don’t say no…..
- I don’t say no but he usually doesn’t ask
- If the marriage has no mental, emotional, spiritual connection. How can I respond sexually.
- It doesn’t feel as good as it used to or hurts too much.
- I have several chronic conditions that come with some complications that make sex uncomfortable.
- Sex can be pleasurable, but I never (or rarely) have a desire for it. It’s just too much effort and not something I really crave.
- He’s the one who says no.
- He had prostrate cancer We rarely have it.
- If I’m sick
- The only time I will say no to sex is if I’m throwing up or menstruating. Otherwise, he’s the one that’s usually saying no.
- He doesn’t seem interested.
- He does not ask Porn issues and Masturbation
- vertigo when I lay down causes nausea and panic, so I have to start the night semi sitting, my husband can tell I’m nauseated and feels bad about bringing it up.
- Not enough time to relax, or anticipate previous to starting
- We don’t have time. Otherwise, we don’t say “no”
- he only wants to do it in the morning, i am still half asleep
- he appears soooo needy
- Makes me feel vulnerable
- Menstrual cycle
- bitter from doing everything (housework, bills, lawn care…) with zero help from him