How to Be a Generous Lover: Husband’s Edition

by | Mar 27, 2019 | Uncategorized | 34 comments

How Husbands Can Be Generous Lovers
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How can a man be a generous lover?

Last week we talked about what it took for a wife to be a generous lover. And all month we’ve been looking at what it means for sex to be a mutual experience–where it’s meant to be good for both of you, where both of you are the focus, and where both of you are giving and receiving.

Today is the big culmination to that, and I want to speak directly to men. If you want to make this a reality in your life, I highly recommend working through 31 Days to Great Sex, which helps BOTH of your needs be met in the bedroom, and which prioritizes both of you. But for just a taste, here we go:

In the Bible, sex is always portrayed as being mutual

And when it’s not, it’s because it’s an assault. When we talk about sex though, we tend to talk about it as something that men need and that women should give. That is NOT how the Bible talks about sex at all. On the contrary, whenever the Bible talks about sex in marriage, it talks about it as a mutual thing. In the famous “do not deprive” verses, the woman’s sexual needs are even mentioned first!

1 Corinthians 7:3-5

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
In Song of Solomon, the book about the Bible that revolves around the sexual relationship of a couple, BOTH of them are portrayed as being excited for sex and enjoying it.

Most women, on the other hand, grow up in church hearing these messages:

The cumulative effect of these messages kills a woman’s sex drive. First, she never hears that she even has a sex drive; she’s only told about her husband’s. Then, she’s told that her husband is really only interested in her so that he can reach orgasm. If he doesn’t get that with her, he’ll look for it elsewhere. Sex, then, has little to do with love, and only with need. Women are made to feel like objects, even in popular marriage books.

Other Posts in our Every Man’s Battle Series on Lust:

A generous lover knows that this message is wrong, and works towards showing his wife that he believes that sex is for both of them, but also:

A generous lover knows that sex was meant for intimacy

The Bible also talks about sex as a deep “knowing”. It is not just about physical release. In Genesis 4:1, the Bible says “Adam KNEW his wife Eve…” That word “to know” is the same verb that is used in the Psalms, when David says “search me and KNOW me, O God.” God uses that word to tell us that sex is not only physical, but is a deep knowing at every level.

We can also see from our physical bodies that sex was meant to be intimate. The height of intimacy, after all, is vulnerability. So let’s talk a bit about a woman’s climax. In order for her to reach orgasm, she has to let go of control. In order to let go of control, she has to be in a safe place of trust. She has to know that you are safe. Then, she has to stop all the millions of stray thoughts that are in her head and train herself just to BE–just to experience this feeling that she only has during sex. That’s a highly vulnerable state, and that makes sex highly intimate. While men can reach orgasm far more on just physical stimulation, women need that emotional safety as well, to a much greater degree.

Not just that, but the way that God created her body shows that He meant for sex to be intimate. He placed the clitoris, the part of her body that gives her pleasure, in front of the vagina, so that it receives stimulation usually when you are in the face-to-face position, unlike other animals. God was distinguishing the way that we make love from that of other animals. It is about the relationship, not only about the sex drive.

A good lover knows that women were designed for foreplay

If sex is supposed to be about both of you, then, a generous lover will take time to learn what feels good for his wife, and will understand that her body is different. Because men get maximum stimulation from intercourse, they may assume that she should as well. Sometimes the attitude given, then, is that she should “catch up” to him and figure out how to make intercourse feel amazingly wonderful, because that’s what it’s supposed to.

Actually, though, a woman’s body does not work like a man’s. She receives maximum stimulation not through intercourse but through direct clitoral stimulation (either orally or manually)–and that’s not a mistake. That’s how God designed women, so that men would have to take time to pleasure their wives in a way that doesn’t necessarily lead to direct stimulation for men. God designed women’s bodies to make men giving!

That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to give her an orgasm through intercourse (and there are lots of tips in 31 Days to Great Sex!), but remember that most women requite a lot of foreplay first if they have a hope of having an orgasm during intercourse.

Foreplay is not an “extra”, or the ticket to the main event. For many women, foreplay IS the main event–and that’s how God made it.

A generous lover is dedicated to helping his wife learn to orgasm

Men largely reach orgasm by themselves–they thrust during intercourse, and the orgasm happens. Sometimes there can be a disconnect, then, because it can be assumed that women also should be able to do this. Women should be able to reach orgasm themselves while they’re moving or doing something during intercourse.

However, women, in general, can’t. A generous lover realizes that not only is he responsible for his own orgasm; he’s responsible for hers, too.

He doesn’t just wonder afterwards, “so, was it good for you?” He pays attention to her body’s cues and he makes sure that she receives pleasure.

And what if she has trouble reaching orgasm? He is patient. He understands that the more anxious she gets about it, the less likely it is to happen. He understands that when he sighs or seems like he’s rushing it, she starts to feel embarrassed, and then she’ll never reach orgasm. He understands that she needs to be reassured that he doesn’t mind how long it takes, that they are going to figure this out together, because he desperately, really wants to give this to her.

Your wife will only reach orgasm if she is not pressured to. As long as you make her feel like she’s inferior in some way, or there’s something wrong with her, she won’t be able to climax. A generous lover, then, makes her feel like she’s the centre of attention, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

A generous lover makes sure she reaches climax as much as possible

Once you have learned together how to help her reach climax, a generous lover ensures that sexual encounters tend to involve both of you reaching orgasm. If he climaxes during intercourse before she does, then he does other things afterwards to help bring her the same pleasure. He does not leave her hanging. 

Are you ready to spice things up?

Check out my 31 Day challenge that you do with your spouse. Super easy–just read a few pages a night and do what it says. Learn to talk more, flirt more, be more affectionate, spice things up, deal with baggage, and so much more!

No blaming. Just solutions–and a whole lot of fun!

A generous lover does not focus on what he can get in bed, but what he can give

I did a big survey on both Twitter and Facebook a while ago where I asked, “in Christian circles, which message have you heard more? Do not deprive your husband, or women’s sexual pleasure matters?” The results were 95%-5%, on both platforms.

Overwhelmingly, what women have been taught is that husbands need sex and we are to give it no matter what. That message is largely responsible for killing her sexuality. It makes her feel used, and it makes her feel like she doesn’t matter.

A generous lover will work to make sure that the other half of the equation–“women’s sexual pleasure matters“–is his focus. He will work at making it feel good for his wife. He will think of how he can be giving in bed, not just on what he is “owed”. If she doesn’t regularly reach orgasm, he will make sure that she is at least aroused. He will also ensure that their sexual time together is relaxing for her, and not just for him, through giving her a backrub, having a bath with her, or whatever else helps her to feel relaxed and close to him, and gives similar benefits to orgasm.

A generous lover is not interested in “taking” from his wife

A generous lover would never “take” from his wife. If she is experiencing physical discomfort from illness, nausea, injury, or even sexual pain (like vaginismus), he will not insist on getting his own pleasure through her pain. He will instead try to find ways that they can feel close without causing her pain (perhaps through mutual masturbation or oral sex). Again, his focus will also be on how to make  her feel good.

A generous lover makes sure that his wife knows she is loved and cherished

A generous lover makes his wife feel loved, cherished, and the sole object of his affection. He does not watch porn, and if he battles that temptation, he is committed to defeating it. He does not justify looking at other women in any way. He tells his wife how much he loves and cherishes her. During their lovemaking sessions, he speaks this out loud to her, to tell her that he wants to truly “know” her in the biblical sense, and not just reach climax.

A generous lover pursues his wife.

Finally, a generous lover initiates sex. Some of you may have a lower sex drive than your wife. A generous lover knows that his wife still needs to feel desired, and so he will go out of his way to initiate sex and start a romantic encounter, even if he doesn’t feel the “need” for it. He will throw himself into it and woo her, because he values her and he values the relationship and closeness.

A generous lover will do these things–and these things should be natural for any man who is a Christian.

Unfortunately, the church’s teachings on sex have gotten so messed up that we have not taught men to be generous lovers. We’ve taught them very little about how women work, and we’ve taught them that they need sex. This combination has been toxic to so many marriages. So let’s start giving this message instead.

Jesus focused on teaching us to be servants and to be giving towards one another. That attitude should follow us all into the bedroom–men or women. If we truly understand that sex was a mutual, intimate joining, where both gave and where both received, I think we’d have a lot more happy couples!

How Husbands Can Be Generous Lovers

I also recognize that many of my male readers at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum are generous lovers but their wives just aren’t engaged.

They want desperately to make sex feel good for her, they try everything, and she just responds with, “Let’s just get it over with.” And that cuts them to the core.

If that’s your situation, and you can honestly answer yes to all of these traits of a generous lover, I recommend yesterday’s post for you (read it here). It tackles a problem in many marriages that often leads to the wife not even wanting to want sex because she’s in crisis management mode all the time. I hope it helps!

What do you think? Is there something I should add to the list? What one is the most difficult? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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34 Comments

  1. Phil

    wonderful post Sheila thanks! What I realized while reading this is that these things are not really new news from you but it is really great to have it repeated or maybe rephrased in a different manner. for me I really try I really do I really try and I try so hard but yet I still screw it up I still get it wrong sometimes and don’t do the things that ate suggested. So it is for me to just keep working at it. I really like the word patient that was used today. Not just during sex but but patienience working towards an emotional physical and spiritual balance where both husband and wife are mutually happy and have a rockin marriage. Good stuff.

    Reply
  2. Jane Eyre

    As always, great work, Sheila.

    The only thing I would add is that a generous man will understand that women have complicated relationships with their bodies.

    When men hit puberty, they (in my husband’s words) feel like they’ve changed into Superman. They get big and strong, their voices deepen, and their bodies can do so much more. Women hit puberty and their bodies start doing gross and painful things. We feel browbeaten with modesty discussions. Our bodies feel like they are for other people, not us – and that feeling persists in marriage, when husbands have an easy time with sex and women struggle.

    I’m not even talking about body image because the whole issue goes so much deeper than that.

    It’s really easy for us to feel like our physical bodies exist for everyone else – for our husband’s pleasure, to bear children, to nurse children. I think husbands struggle to understand, then, how rushing foreplay or asking if we are ready, yet, reinforces the feeling that our bodies don’t make us happy.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      So true! That’s a great point. Thank you.

      Reply
  3. Sleepy

    This was great but one thing that makes me a little sad is the: A generous lover initiates. I stopped initiating a long time ago. After being rejected for many years I stopped. Things are better now with our sex life but I still dont initiate because I dont know how to. I asked her once and she said that I should plainly ask:” Do you want sex?”. It seems super boring but that how things work for us now. I dont know how to seduce her I mean I work on showing her that I love her everyday. That is one of the main goals with or without sex, I want to be a loving husband. But to take her from not wanting sex to want sex , I dont know how. And she doesnt seem interested in me getting her there. So I have given up. What I do is that I am learning how her mood is, what has happened through the day , if she hugs me much and etc. and then I ask if she would be up to it. We dont sleep in the same bed so there is no chance there, we never have time to cuddle so it cant really “just happen” and our other problem is that if we have sex in the night she cant fall asleep afterwards. So I dont know how to be generous in that area.
    And there comes my second question. Since I have a difficult time to ask I am also afraid of asking for example for a “handjob” when its been awhile. I feel that its selfish to ask for this because my main focus should be pleasing her but sometimes I would be thankful if she could do that for me. BUt I dont know. Sometimes I wonder if that is like asking for a massage but I guess its not. I usually massage her but I dont know, asking for a handjob is maybe to selfish. I dont want to be selfish but it would be very helpful with a helping hand every now and then specially when its difficult to have sex.
    And another thing that can make it difficult to be a generous lover is that my wife doesnt seem to want foreplay. She says she enjoys sex but she mostly wants to get done with it. I guess that when we have sex when she wants she is already ready or something.
    So its not always easy to be a generous lover.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Sleepy, I totally understand. The point about a generous lover initiating is especially relevant to those husbands who have the lower sex drive. If you’re the one who is constantly being rejected, the dynamics are a little different there. I think that it may be that last week’s post on how a wife can be a generous lover is more relevant in your situation. And then maybe yesterday’s post on how to make sure there are margins in your life? Perhaps this may be part of your wife’s issue. I do hope it gets better!

      Reply
    • Daniel

      Sleepy: Try this; With your wife’s help, pick a day that you can dedicate an hour or two to sexual intimacy. Schedule it at least a week in the future.

      Between now and then make sure you do some of the things that you did before you were married. Flirt, talk, walk, and other things that bring you together. Send her the occasional sexy text about how pretty she is, or how excited you are for the ‘sex date’. Make sure you give free non-sexual hugs every day, and brief kisses (or slightly longer, but not french kisses, or highly sexual kisses). Tell her you love her, make sure she feels appreciated.

      When the date rolls around, don’t jump into intercourse… take it slow. Tell her you love her, tell her how attracted you are to her, ask her where you can touch her, or massage her, or rub her that will arouse her. Sheila has plenty on this topic… but I don’t remember the posts… Don’t focus on your pleasure, focus on her 100%. If she isn’t into what you’re doing, try something different, and/or ask what feels good, and how you can make her feel good. Take your time.

      Any ladies on here that want to contribute to the foreplay steps I’ve outlined, PLEASE DO. Us men need all the help we can get.

      Sleepy… I hope that helps. Please feel free to ask me anything. As always, if you have not already read it, get Sheila’s book 31 day to great sex.

      Reply
      • Sleepy

        Thanks Daniel! I wish it was as easy to just set a date. With two small kids it’s difficult to find time. I guess that could be a reason she just want things to go fast because we always have to look for the kids. My wife love our kids and she often feels guilty to get a babysitter just for us to have sex. We have had the kids with my parents a few times but that’s when she has work to do and really needs to leave the kids. Then I usually go with the kids. I come back for awhile and then we can have sex but that doesn’t happen often.

        I flirt with her often. I want her to know I love her and do a lot of non-sexual touch because physical touch is my love language. I like giving her massages too 🙂

        I wish she would let me try more things as you are describing it but my wife wants it to go fast. She doesn’t seem to want foreplay. I mean we do some oralsex and that can be nice but she doesn’t enjoy it as much if I’m the only one giving her. She doesn’t like me touching her down there with my hands either. So there isn’t much to do. I mean she seems to enjoy it and orgasms like 9 times of 10 so I guess it’s ok. I just wish I could find new ways to pleasure her. We basically do the same thing every time.

        This is a difficult topic to bring up. She feels pressured by me when I want her to say what she likes but she says she doesn’t think about these things. She grew up learning that “lady’s don’t think about sex”. She wasn’t a virgin when we got married. She and her ex boyfriend (who she was with before knowing Christ) had sex and he introduced her to do a lot of things. I guess that maybe there is some shame there about that. I dont know but all I can do is wait. It can be a little frustrating but it doesn’t help to complain. When she is ready to have sex I’m ready to be there. As the post says, a generous lovers main focus is his wife’s pleasure and if she doesn’t want to have sex or just wants sex in a certain way then I have to accept that.

        Reply
        • Daniel

          Sleepy: It looks like patience will be key until the kids give some wiggle room. I would say just keep earning her love and trust until that time comes. Never give up, and do everything you can to enjoy every moment with your wife.

          I feel like a broken record, but 31 days to great sex is a great book for both men and women, for both thriving and barely surviving sex lives.

          Reply
          • Daniel

            Sleepy: One more thing. If you guys are bible believers, use scriptural examples of a man pleasing a woman. A great go-to sex position is described in the bible in Song of Solomon where he is lying behind her with his hand on her vagina, and his mouth on her breast. Clearly he is pleasuring her. (this position is a great per-intercourse foreplay position that transitions nicely to a side entry initiation)The cool part about sex for man, and perhaps your wife misunderstands this, is that pleasuring her is pleasurable. Whether a wife is giving direct stimulation to the husband or not, the husband is being stimulated and pleasured.

        • Ashley

          Sleepy! I can totally attest to the small kids issue. We have 3 under 6. You should definitely read the article about creating more margins. Us wives and mothers too often get weighed down with huge mental loads. And its very very hard to turn off our brains and focus on the moment. Your wife is likely thinking of the clock and when the kids have to be picked up and everything that must be done once they are home. Pitch in as best as you can. A wife always wants to feel like she is a team with her husband. If she is burdened with so much mental load it is very hard for her to engage emotionally with anything for long. Plus if she has read or been taught anything along the lines of Love and Respect she may feel like she is simply doing her duty for you and forgotten(or honestly doesn’t know) that she is important too. That is a side note. But I would suggest asking her about her mental load and find a way to balance that by taking some of that load. The first comment on the creating margins thread has a great routine that the commenter and her husband have to connect and share loads. (of course I am assuming that there is a load imbalance because most marriage homes seem to be). Last it is not wrong or selfish for you to ask for anything extra for you, the “hand job” or anything else. 😊 This article is a great insight on how you can give but as Sheila mentioned, the other article for the women may be more appropriate for your situation. Last know that the small children phase will end and what you are doing now out of necessity with shift. It’s not forever and things will level out. Blessings and I hope you two find the balance!

          Reply
  4. Natalie

    Well this is a timely article! After 2 weeks of no sex due to my husband being “tired” and being in the “not right now, how about tomorrow?” mood, we finally had sex last night! We’ve been discussing a lot about how he needs to be an active participant with me during sex, not just lying back, closing his eyes, and enjoying the sensations. We’ve discussed how I need to be touched and kissed and caressed more before and during sex, and how he actually needs to spend some time touching me down there either with his fingers or mouth, not just putting a hand down there and indiscriminately “rummaging around” as I call it.

    [Editor’s note: we had to delete the main body of this comment because it was just really graphic. But we really appreciated Natalie’s overall point, so we will leave the last paragraph of her comment so her point remains. In general, if someone reading a comment can’t help but picture what you’re doing, then it’s likely too much detail 🙂 ]

    HUSBANDS: TOUCH YOUR WIFES!!!!! ENJOY THE TIME IT TAKES TO LEARN YOUR WIFE’S BODY (which some may take longer than others)!!! LEARN HER BODY!!!! MAKE HER FEEL CHERISHED, LOVED AND DESIRED!!!!!, not just like a sexy body that you enjoy using to masturbate in. If that’s what you want, get a penis sleeve or fleshlight or something. (sarcasm obviously. I’d really not recommend the latter).

    Reply
    • Natalie

      lol, sorry for the detail. :p I’ll try to keep it PG next time.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        No problem! Appreciate you! 🙂

        Reply
  5. Daniel

    Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!! Sheila, you nailed it. I’m not sure what else can be said on this topic.

    MEN: If your wife says; “Let’s just get it over with.” That is a GIANT WAVING RED FLAG!! Sorry to be blunt, but that means you’re doing it wrong. She can ‘enjoy’ sex, but if she isn’t receiving sexual pleasure, why would she be enthusiastic about having sex?

    I feel like I have more to say… but I may wait for more comments.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      I do also think that a lot of guys can do everything 100% right and their wives don’t meet them half-way. I think that if your wife says something like “let’s just get it over with,” you need to pry into why. Does it not feel good? Could you be doing something better? But sometimes the woman also just isn’t letting herself get there and doesn’t want to. Those can often be separate issues.

      So in general, guys, definitely figure out what makes her tick. But if she seems to not respond no matter what or sex feels good for her but she’s just not into it, that may be worth talking about more, too.

      Reply
      • Daniel

        Rebecca, Sheila: The part of the post that stood out to me the most is this; “…she has to be in a safe place of trust”.

        Women: How much does trust play a role in “letting yourself go”? And is that part of the reason you “don’t want to”.

        I hate to imply that men are to blame for their wife’s sexual pleasure… buuuuut, perhaps trust is a missing piece to this puzzle? What prompts a wife to meet her husband half way? And are some women just not into it, regardless how good (100% good) her husband is in and out of bed? Are there legitimately women who simply get nothing out of sex, and are incapable of sexual pleasure? Such a hard topic. I’m so thankful that you two challenge us with this blog. Thank you!

        Reply
        • EM

          I would say that trust plays an enormous role! During times in our marriage when I have felt that he was being selfish in general or not really listening to my heart, it was much harder to get into it. When I feel
          emotionally safe there is much more spark when we are together!

          Reply
      • CS from NY

        But do our wives have to meet us halfway? I was raised to do whatever it takes to keep a wife happy, because that’s a husband’s role. If there’s a problem, the husband needs to bend to accommodate the wife. I understand that the purity culture wrongly taught that wives need to always meet their husband’s needs, but that’s actually the opposite of what I was taught. Truly, I was raised to believe a husband should never do anything that upsets his wife. I don’t know, maybe I’m the only guy on here who experienced that.

        I’m not sure I’d know what to do if my wife is supposed to meet me halfway when there’s an issue. It goes against everything in me to ask her to change, because that means I’m being selfish and failing as a husband.

        My wife insists this is wrong, but I don’t know what to think. Being told for so long to give give give but that its wrong for a husband to have needs is a hard habit to break.

        Reply
        • Rebecca Lindenbach

          I think that if a woman has a major psychological block that either she is choosing to put up or she just doesn’t know how to tear down and it’s causing her to never be able to be truly intimate, then it’s in her best interest to say something.

          I don’t think you’re the only guy who’s heard that–the whole “happy wife happy life” mantra is everywhere. 🙂 And it’s 100% not wrong for a husband to have needs–we are all made with needs! But all I’m saying is that it also isn’t only about meeting your needs when she’s got that barrier–it’s about saying “Our marriage is meant for more than this because I don’t want to sit here and watch you miss out on something big for no good reason at all. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help you, but you also have to want to be helped if we’re going to make any progress here.”

          Same thing as how my husband couldn’t fix my anxiety problem for me, but he could be my support as I dealt with it. Husbands can’t force wives to get over mental blocks they are unwilling to get over themselves. But they can make the path to healing as easy as possible. Does that make sense?

          Reply
        • EM

          I think it is ok, and even necessary, to upset each other sometimes in a healthy relationship! I think your heart is in the right place, but you matter too. I know it has helped me grow as a person when my husband has (gently) let me know that I am in the wrong. Now when he’s harsh or critical about it, that’s totally unproductive. But I really do want to know what he needs and bend to accommodate him when I can! It should be a two way street.

          Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thanks, Daniel! And I do agree–you have to get to the root of the issue. The issue is not always with you. Sometimes it really is a mental block on her end. But you have to get to the heart of what the issue is!

      Reply
  6. Desire

    Thank you. As someone who wants to be a generous lover, this really helps bring the two sides of the equation together. It does take two for generosity. Both a generous lover and a generous receiver of love. If either are not willing/able, then the generosity is difficult.

    Reply
  7. EM

    Ok, I’ve got a question that maybe the guys can help with. I would definitely characterize my husband as a generous lover, but the one area he really struggles in is saying anything at all out loud. Like Sheila said in the article, it would really help me to know that he’s thinking about ME, not just sex in general. We have talked about it and I have explained why it’s so important to me, but he said that makes him feel like he’s just not good enough or can’t make me happy. I know emotional intimacy can be a struggle for him because of how he was raised, but we are making strides in other areas. Like we can stay in a difficult conversation now and talk it through to resolution, where before he would shut down. So I guess my question is, how can I make talking during sex seem less scary for him? The other night I tried whispering in his ear, “Let me hear your voice,” but even that backfired and he shut down. I let it go for so long (15 years!) but it really does matter to me and I don’t feel like it’s too much to ask for him to say “I love you,” or even just say my name.

    Reply
    • Melissa W

      My thought on this is to model it for him. Rather than asking him to talk to you in the middle of sex you model for him what that looks like. Maybe you have already done this but I have found for my husband and I that once one person starts doing the thing they are wanting done for them then it is easier for the reluctant spouse to do it back. So tell him that you love him during sex, say his name or a nickname, verbalize what you like about sex with him or what part of his body you are enjoying. Maybe he will start to feel more comfortable doing it back if he sees how easy it is for you to do it. Of course don’t tell him that you are “modeling” what you want. That could easily put a wall up if it is something you have already told him you want before. It may not work and maybe you have already tried this but it is worth a shot. One thing I wanted was more kissing (more than a peck) when we were leaving one another in the morning so rather than asking him to kiss me for longer I just started initiating more passionate morning kisses. Now I don’t have to initiate them at all because they have become so much a part of our life that we both just expect it now.

      Reply
      • EM

        Thank you for the suggestion. I talked to him during sex when we first got married but then I started to feel silly doing it by myself so for a long time I stopped. Recently I’ve been doing it again because words of affirmation is my love language, and I’ve decided to share it with him even if it isn’t reciprocated. I am hopeful because of where we are at in our relationship, but it is frustrating because it just seems like such an easy thing for him do. I just have to remember that he is different than me, and for whatever reason, it isn’t easy for him. I know getting angry about it won’t help him.

        Reply
    • Daniel

      EM: I think some personalities have a hard time talking during sex. It can be hard for me too. But I know a few things that can make it easier.
      1. An enthusiastic and excited wife.
      2. Wife asking/saying simple to answer questions/statements.
      3. Extreme horniness
      4. Determination and willingness to change
      5. The book; 31 days to great sex

      Having said that… if your husband is unwilling to make an effort and change, it won’t happen on it’s own. It sound like you probably have already, but maybe tell him beforehand that it would be super sexy if he whispered “I love you” in your ear while you’re making love? I know for me, it’s super hot when my wife says things similar to “It makes me so horny when you whisper in my ear when we’re making love” (I don’t think she’s said that, but that’s the gist of it).

      Not sure that helps, but from a man’s perspective, there you go.

      Reply
      • Daniel

        EM: I should also say more specifically. Instead of asking him to talk, give him something to say. Sometimes we just don’t know what to say. But if you tell him to tell you he loves you, maybe that will help. Or ask him to say your name. my $0.02

        Reply
        • EM

          Yes I have tried those things too, and I am an enthusiastic wife. I’ve told him many times that it doesn’t have to be fancy, just “I love you.” We did have a little progress the other night. I decided to try to be generous myself and surprise him with a “his” night, and I said something to him and he responded unprompted with “I love you.” So maybe he just has been feeling pressured or like I’m being selfish…hopefully we can keep building from here. Thanks for the thoughtful response!

          Reply
          • Daniel

            EM: That’s great! I love hearing about good times in the bedroom.

            For whatever reason (probably pride), some men, myself included, feel like any ‘correction’ a wife makes is some sort of attack… Deep down we know it’s not, but there is just something about either being corrected, or have something suggested that makes it look like we are doing something wrong. Not that it’s the wife’s intention, or the husbands intention, but our ego and pride can really get in the way. Saying let me hear your voice implies that he should be talking instead of what he’s doing. But something like “tell me you love me” might prompt a different response. Keep trying, never give up.

            It’s tricky, and maybe your husband is different, but affirmative, reasurring and constructive comments will go a long way.

  8. Lisa

    Very good article.

    One point I would like to emphasize is that if you, as a spouse, have NOT been a generous lover, don’t expect fireworks right away. It takes a great deal of time to restore the trust that has been obliterated by being a selfish lover.

    Reply
  9. Amaju Adomi

    Thanks for this. I appreciate it greatly. It has being insightful, as a man and a husband, i hope to better at this.

    Reply
  10. AJ

    Sheila, I’m not sure you put enough emphasis on what a woman needs long before the bedroom to help her be fully involved in sex. I am in a marriage where I do not feel emotionally safe. My husband is kind and helpful but rather disconnected emotionally. I know he loves me but I still feel very lonely and disconnected. Our marriage has been a painful struggle for us to connect and for me to feel seen, heard, valued. I have had some health struggles as well that have affected my attitude towards sex. He told me if we had sex more he wouldn’t look at other women as much. I don’t like bearing the blame for that. At this point I don’t even want to be unclothed in front of my husband. I get dressed and shower when he is not around. I don’t want to be vulnerable with him in any way. I don’t really like kissing or hugging. They feel empty and pointless to me. I am really stuck and don’t even know where to start to get back to a place where I could enjoy being vulnerable and intimate with him during sex.

    Reply
  11. Beth

    I would like to know your perspective on when your husband has zero sex drive while you’re pregnant. We’ve talked and he says he just doesn’t need it; it’s like something clicks off in his mind when I’m pregnant. He can’t explain it. I have tried to explain how I still need to feel cherished in a sexual way. It’s not just about him. I’ve tried several times to explain, but nothing helps; he never initiates anything. He can’t force it if he’s not feeling it and I want to be understanding. Anyone else deal with this?

    Reply
  12. AM

    I just recently came off birth control all I can think of is Sex. For years now, I have been the one who initiates and he is always good to go when I asked for it. Another issue we’ve been having recently is when he eats anything that has been contaminated with gluten he gets sick for days. Yes, he does have celiac which it sucks! I love him and I recently told him that I want to be a purposeful wife and I want us to enjoy what we’ve been missing out on.

    Reply

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