Do I Have to Indulge My Husband’s Fantasies?

by | Apr 15, 2019 | Uncategorized | 44 comments

Do I Have to indulge my husband's sexual fantasies? When your husband fantasizes and is too sexually demanding.
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If your husband wants you to do a striptease or send him sexy photos, doesn’t that mean he’s perverted? Do you have to indulge him?

Reader Question: Do I have to indulge my husband's sexual fantasies?

Every Monday I like to post a reader question and take a stab at answering it, and I found one from a few years ago that I thought was important to rerun, especially since we were talking about porn last week. So I have two women with similar questions about how much of a guy’s fantasy we have to submit to.

One woman writes:

Reader Question

My husband wants me to send him naked photos to him while he’s at work. I really feel uncomfortable and harassed by this situation and think it’s getting out of control.

We’re in our forties and have been married for over 20 years. Our relationship isn’t very good as I always get thrush every month.

If I don’t send the photos he ignores me and blanks me out. I told him I don’t love him anymore and to get out of my life but he will not listen to me. He always says he’s sorry and then makes up but then he’ll start all over again.

Another woman asks more of a philosophical question:

Reader Question

I equate my husband’s asking me to wear uncomfortable and unattractive lingerie as well as perform lap dances and strip dances as an overt and palpable manifestation of his fantasies. Men do this without question using the mantra that “men are visual“. And as wives, we are required to satisfy those visual fantasies. No matter that they arise because he has seen something on TV or in a magazine or in a movie (or even porn) that has caught his eye. And no matter that they are very uncomfortable for the wife to perform. When the husband watches the wife, he is fantasizing about the image he has see that prompted the performance, not the wife. That is overtly forcing the wife to participate in his fantasy. It is very hurtful to know that your spouse is fantasizing about some obviously hotter, sexier image and even more hurtful to have to perform it. Somehow, this is viewed as normal male behavior.

All right, let’s try to unpack this, because I think there are several issues at play, and I want to tease them out separately.

Ready? Let’s go!

Do I have to indulge my husband's fantasies? What to do if your husband is too sexually demanding and wants you to do things in bed you don't like.

If Your Husband’s Fantasies Involve Treating You Like a Sexual Object–That’s Wrong

The first letter writer is really concerning to me. He’s asking her to do something which is potentially harmful to her–how does she know other people won’t see those photographs? And why is he more interested in seeing naked pictures of her at work than he is at working on their relationship when he’s at home?

As I’ve said before, sex is supposed to be mutual, and when we treat sex like it’s all for him and that women need to do whatever he wants, we diminish the power of sex to bring us together as a couple. We make sex into something which only physical–animal even–instead of something which is also intimate.

That is so harmful to the marriage and to the woman’s libido. You should not be treated like a sex object.

Treat her well--don't just use her body. Make her feel great, too!

I guess what I’d say to this woman is that she needs to decide what she wants. She isn’t drawing very good boundaries. He blows up at her, she blows up at him and says it’s over, he apologizes–and she takes him back.

If someone is truly sorry, they will confess to someone else, get accountability, and change their behaviour. Sometimes the worst thing we can do is to rush forgiveness before we give God time to work on the person’s heart.

The husband here has issues where he’s not valuing the wife; he sees sex as only physical; and he violates her personhood. He needs to start feeling the consequences of his actions, and I’d recommend reading Boundaries in Marriage or my book 9 Thoughts That Can Help Your Marriage to help you sort out how to resolve something like this and refuse to participate in him going down a dangerous sexual path.

Enjoying Watching Someone Is Not Wrong or Abnormal

Okay, so I obviously agree that a husband wanting the wife to indulge a fantasy where she is objectified–when there is no intimacy in other parts of their relationship–is absolutely wrong.

If this is the case in the second letter writer’s situation, then I would give the same advice to her.

However, I do see some red flags in the second letter that I want to address. She’s making some very blanket statements that I see frequently that are not necessarily true. They may be true in her own marriage, but they aren’t necessarily true.

She writes:

…asking me to wear uncomfortable and unattractive lingerie as well as perform lap dances and strip dances as an overt and palpable manifestation of his fantasies. Men do this without question using the mantra that “men are visual”.

If a guy wants you to perform lap dances all the time, and if sex is really focused on him being served rather than being something intimate, then this is definitely wrong.

But many men ARE visual ( women are, too!), and the fact that a guy would enjoy watching a woman do a lingerie fashion show or watching her slowly take off her clothes does not mean that he has porn issues or that he’s a pervert. He may just love you and enjoy being with you and want to have some fun!

Just Because Strippers Do Something and Your Husband Wants You to, Too–Doesn’t Mean it’s Necessarily Off Limits

There are some acts that definitely are wrong–anything involving a third party, watching porn together, role plays which are really odd (acting like a child, etc. etc.), some physical acts that are harmful. But that doesn’t mean that everything a stripper does or everything a porn star does is wrong. Of course, I hope you haven’t all been in strip joints or watched porn to figure out what those things are, but hopefully you know where I’m coming from!

I think we need to be careful, then, that we don’t assume that because a husband may want to spice things up or because he may want to look at you taking your clothes off that he’s by definition a gross porn addict.

The letter writer says, for instance:

When the husband watches the wife, he is fantasizing about the image he has see that prompted the performance, not the wife.

This may very well be the case, especially for this woman. I’ve written before, for instance, that it’s okay to say to him, “I’m not going to have sex with you after you’ve gotten aroused watching Game of Thrones.” And if your husband wants something you think is gross, that may indeed be a red flag.

 

The Issue, When it Comes to Fantasies, is the Heart. Always.

But when a husband watches a wife do a little striptease it doesn’t mean he necessarily is fantasizing about something else. Most guys enjoy watching a women getting undressed. That doesn’t mean he’s bad. Most guys would love it if we tried some new positions or did some interesting things.

One thing I often advise couples to do is the “His Night” “Her Night” bargain. Take the Saturdays in a month and declare two of them “His nights” and two of them “Her nights”. On his nights you do the things he wants, and on her nights you may start with a long, drawn out massage. That way if he likes seeing a lingerie fashion show, you can provide one. But on all the other nights you just do things regularly, so you don’t have to feel pressured that every night has to be a big production. He knows he gets what he needs sometimes, and you know you do as well.

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The Issue, When it Comes to Fantasies, is the Heart. Always.

Some men, because of past or current porn exposure or the way they allow themselves to think, do view sex as primarily a physical thing where they can get their own needs met, rather than as an intimate encounter where they please the wife and feel close to her, too.

If that is the case in your marriage, then absolutely you need to talk to him about it. You may even need to bring in a third party, like a counsellor or mentor couple, to help you draw some boundaries and say, “no more”. You may have to get something like Covenant Eyes to make watching porn more difficult and give him some accountability.

But sometimes we become so focused on the evils of porn that we think anything that is the least bit risqué is therefore off limits.

The issue is not the act; the issue is the heart.

The closer a couple gets to each other and the more intimate they become, often the more passionate and more fun their lovemaking grows. Hot and holy can go together!

If you have a history of people using sex as a weapon against you, or if you’re just completely grossed out by our culture, it’s easy to start seeing sex as something distasteful that we need to get through–a sort of “missionary position is the only acceptable thing”. But it’s not. And let’s be careful that we don’t throw passion out the window with our attempt to get rid of the influences of pornography.

What do you think? How would you tell the difference between a guy who just enjoys looking at his wife and a guy who wants his wife to indulge fantasies he’s fuelled by porn? Let’s talk in the comments!

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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44 Comments

  1. Anon.

    I believe the difference is in the state of the relationship where the request is asked and how the request is made.

    If the relationship in general is mutually focused and there is a desire and on both parts to honor respect and serve, then the request may be just a fun thing to try. But if the relationship is one-sided and rooted in conflict and selfishness, then the request may be as well.

    If the request is made in a loving way with respect given and even denying the request is accepted, then it may be just a request. But if the request is made with manipulation, controlling language, or coercion, If there are consequences for not complying to the request, And if your no doesn’t mean no to him, beware.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, absolutely! It depends whether it’s a demand or a “hey, what about this?”

      Reply
    • SaviKat

      I am the jerky uncaring “make sex for me while i care nothing for your feelings” husband and my husband is the loving long suffering wife in this, it sounds just like our story. I am in counciling but I don’t know how to stop being a jerk or even how to care how he feels. I’m actually the sex crazed wife and he’s a normal loving husband irl.

      Reply
      • SaviKat

        The article not necessarily this comment^^^

        Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Hi SaviKat!
        I think the key is to work on intimacy. Sometimes we get sex so warped that it’s just about the body, and we forget how to be intimate (or we may never have understood in the first place). The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex may help you with seeing sex as more than just physical.

        Reply
    • Kay

      What can I do when my husband is determined that he wants a 3 some with another woman, he wants anal and he expects me to do sexual acts when I talk to my grown daughter(his stepdaughter). First I’m not bi sexual, I have no desire for it, but he insist that I should try. I did try anal, I was in so much pain. I really thought I would lose consciousness, and I got so angry because he didn’t care that it was hurting me. As far as my daughter, he tells me he has sexual feelings towards her, and e expects me to be okay with it. I’m not, it makes me even more angry. What can I do? We have a 3 year old but I’m about ready to divorce.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Kay, that is abusive and dangerous, to both you and your daughter. Please get yourself to safety. That isn’t okay. That is sexual abuse. I’m so sorry. You can google the sexual assault hotline in your area. Please get some help!

        Reply
  2. Sleepy

    I think (but it doesnt have to be this way) one way one can see the difference is how a man reacts when he gets his request turned down. A man that is fueled by porn wont feel satisfied until he gets his fanasy fulfilled. Or he will be complaining about it a lot and maybe even get angry if he doesnt get his way(doesnt have to be just because of porn can be just how some people are too). I say this as a man who struggles with a porn addiction and am on my path of freedome. I used to be obsessed with certain ways to have sex.

    The more I have distanced myself from porn the more loving I have become and the more focused on my wife I have become. That has created a much more enjoyable time for both. My wife feels loved and I love pleasing her. Many of the porn-fueled fantasies are gone. Some disappeared in the beginning but have come back but I feel like they arent fueled by porn now but from a desire to be intimate with my wife. Others have more or less disappeared.

    I think that if a man focuses on loving his wife and learn that the goal is to please her and make things good for her then it will be easier for the wife to try new things. If she doesnt feel pressured or sees that he understands when she says no and doesnt get angry then I think its easier for her. Thats what I have seen with my wife. For example: She didnt like oral sex after her pregnancies. I was frustrated about it but learned that I just have to accept that and show love. I did. And I also prayed about it. I even asked God that she would like that. Its kind of funny because the same day I prayed that, that same day she wanted to do it. So I thank God for that but I think it was because I wasnt pressuring her. And now little by little my wife is doing a lot more than I ever thought she would do. Even things that used to be part of my perverted fantasies but is now part of my healthy fantasies.

    But I think it started with me loving her. Me focusing on her. Her feeling that I only want to be with her and want to pleasure her. And also talking about how it makes me feel when she goes out of her way to do it. I have had the chance to tell her how loved it makes me feel when she dares doing something new. It touches my heart because it makes me feel that I am special enough for her to try these things with me. That seems to have helped her want to try new things too and I am thankful for that.
    It also helped talking about how some things were not wrong. She thought oral sex was sinful but we talked about it and I could use Scripture and other arguments that helped her deal with how she felt about it. So that can be good to do too.

    So as men we need to first of all show our wifes that sex is about both and focus on her pleasure too. If we get turned down we need to accept that and leave it in Gods hand and just love her. Also talk about these things and if Gods leads it in that way(as I felt He did) maybe find out why she doesnt want to do it. It may help you as a man to understand why she says no and accept that.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s so well said, Sleepy! And yes, I think that how a man reacts to “no” shows his true character as well. But great comments about how to build that trust in the relationship.

      Reply
  3. Phil

    Mutuality – if they both agree it is good…of course pending some of the weird stuff…..that well..is not God like behaviors…

    Reply
  4. Desire

    “let’s be careful that we don’t throw passion out the window”

    Very well said.

    Sometimes “righteous” people, especially those that were taught a more legalistic view of morality, have a belief (if not conscious, then unconscious), that passion is bad and should be controlled. We certainly want to keep passion within the bounds of marriage and mutual respect. However, passion is fantastic when it’s there in the marriage bed. Without passion in the marriage bed, things can get a little routine and boring.

    Reply
    • Anonymous this time

      What if the husbands fantasy is to have sex with his wife?

      Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, exactly. When you’re together, and it’s just about you two, then passion is amazing. We shouldn’t limit it unnecessarily.

      Reply
  5. High drive wife

    I absolutely love this and I am in the position where I would love to please my husband this way! I ask him if there’s fun things he would like to try or what he particularly likes me to wear in the bedroom. Like what just really does it for him and it’s hard to get an answer, so I’m coming at it from the other side, where I wish I would hear these things because I would love it! I am the one coming up with new things or places that I would love to try it in, but he always comes at it with the practical of, that wouldn’t be comfortable or you know that wouldn’t really work explanations. I think it would be fun, but what if he doesn’t have much of an opinion about it? Did you know it’s possible for a wife to be frustrated in that way too? 😉

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, absolutely, that’s difficult as well! Have you seen my sexy dares? Maybe that’s something he’d be interested in.

      Reply
    • Emmy

      I’d not send naked pictures to his WORK because others might see it, but as far as lingerie and strip tease goes, I’d only be happy to oblige. Lingerie does not need to be uncomfortable. I’d buy (and I do buy) something I like myself also. Lingerie is one of the few “extras” my husband ever has shown interest in, so I have grabbed the opportunity with both hands and even invested some money into beautiful lingerie.

      Reply
      • Natalie

        I agree, Emmy! I loooove lingerie! But of course, I’ve always loved dress-up lol. My husband used to not care whether I wore it or not, but once he understood how it helps turn me on and get me in the mood (& now that he’s been working on “reawakening” his sexual side too… something we’ve both been working on), he’s much more open to it and even requests it now. 🙂 That makes me happy. I love being “unwrapped” 😉

        Reply
        • Anomyous

          Do you mind sharing how you are working on reawakening your husbands sexual desire? I often feel like I’m asking to much of him but I just really would like more than 2-3x a week! 😬

          Reply
          • Natalie

            Well, there’s nothing I’m doing (cuz really, I can’t make him do anything. It has to come from within himself) except for allowing my husband to “take back his penis” as our therapist says lol (aka start being the man again in this relationship, be stronger and more solid, and not be such a push-over and a wimp). Basically, I’m very type A and assertive whereas he has those qualities too but they aren’t as dominant as mine and he’s more willing to give in to me than I am to him. (I really think this is a first born (me) vs second/last born (him) thing). So I’ve been allowing and encouraging him to make the first move in different aspects of our life, including sexually. I’ve also been verbally encouraging him and telling him all the time how much I enjoy being with him physically. This is really important for us because he’s morbidly obese and knows based on many many past discussions that his body doesn’t physically/visually turn me on and that I really really want him to lose the weight and get fit and healthy. But on the flip side, even though he’s very large, I still enjoy being close to him (assuming he’s keeping up his hygiene) and crave that intimacy with him. I wasn’t making that clear at all before. So now I sext him throughout the day and tell him how excited I am to do whatever to him or how I want him to do xyz to me that night. And he’s been returning the sentiments and now initiating on his own. Based on our recent discussions, he’s realised that he’d be a lot more into sex and initiate more if he was more comfortable with him body. And that’s coming from himself / his own self-image. So that’s been a huge step for him. He’s started being more conscious of how his choices affect his body… something I’ve been doing for him for year with no success but something he’s only started doing for himself very recently and thus been seeing more success and results.

  6. Leah

    My husband loved it when I’d send him pictures. I didn’t always put my face in them. 🤷‍♀️ Just for fun we would go shopping and he would pick out anything and everything he wanted to see me in and I’d try it on for him. If we found something that he really liked, we’d get it but not always. He liked me to wear lingerie but he said whether or not I wore it didn’t change how he felt about me, he loved me anyway. It was just something extra. And I loved doing it for him. It was amazingly fun! He never made me feel like I wasn’t the one he was thinking about and loving, he never made me feel embarrassed. I think that wives who don’t enjoy their husbands sexually are crazy!😶 Well, take that gently please!!! Enjoy your man, love him, please him, accept his loving. You never know when you’ll lose him. I lost mine 7 months ago. The loss is indescribable. And yes, I still miss sending him sexy pictures, teasing him, and loving him.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Leah. So very sorry.

      Reply
    • Broken

      Dear Leah, I feel you. I lost my husband and father pf our babygirl very suddenly 3 months ago. I am 26 years old and I miss him terribly, and yes, I deeply grieve our sex life. We enjoyed each other so much. I used to read this blog and sometimes I still read some posts here, because I am so used to it. It hurts so much, and I, too, want to say cherish your husbands while you have them. God has been faithful to me and I know he will carry me through but it still hurts like hell.

      Reply
    • Kate

      I send my condolence and a big cyber huge to you Leah. 🙁

      Reply
  7. Andrea

    I have a huge problem with stripping and I would even take it one step further than the reader who wrote in with the question: not only is the husband wanting her to imitate something he has seen elsewhere, he is asking her to parody poverty and sexual abuse. Just think about the kind of home a little girl has to grow up in to end up on a pole as an adult. And men who claim to love Jesus, men who have daughters even, want their wives to do this. I seriously don’t get it. It’s another one of those things my secular friends don’t do, but the evangelical ones are being pressured into it. (The funny/sad thing is that because some of my evangelical friends see me as more liberal than they are, they ask me for advice, assuming I’d be into that and make them comfortable with the idea, and then are shocked and a bit offended when I tell them my views on it.). Most women, just like the question-asker and other women commenting on similar posts here, aren’t comfortable with this and if they have trouble articulating why, this is my humble opinion on it. He wants you to act like those poor girls (most of whom are mothers!) in strip joints; OF COURSE you’re uncomfortable and do not let him convince you it means you are repressed.

    I feel the same way about porn and must admit that I actually resent that last sentence, suggesting we may somehow accidentally throw out passion when we throw out porn. There is nothing passionate about porn, an industry fueled by human trafficking. What turned me off of porn in addition to its abusive aspect (on which I commented on the previous/Friday post) is that the women are not aroused at all. I know, surprise, surprise, but once I noticed that (based on the fact that their inner labia are not engorged — sorry for the detail, but it would be the equivalent of watching a guy attempt to have sex with a flaccid penis), I couldn’t understand how anyone who knows the basics of female arousal would be able to enjoy it. Porn has had such a devastating effect on the lives of women that secular sex manuals and comprehensive sex education classes now teach “porn literacy,” that is how real life sex is different from porn. Not just specifically gross acts that are unique to porn, but how “regular” PiV sex should not involve the violent thrusting portrayed in porn, how oral sex should not be performed by attempting to make the woman gag, etc. It has come to that, people don’t know the difference any more, so men think they are missing out on “passion” and women think they are depriving their husbands by not emulating broken women.

    Reply
    • Elisabeth

      Andrea, assuming a husband who wants a strip tease wants a stripper is a huge part of the problem. Saying that to a discouraged or insecure woman could CAUSE problems where there are none, so I beg you, whatever your personal issues are, please stop saying it. Some of us like it …less slow.. sometimes too, and it’s got nothing to do with porn. I think that sometimes we assume the worst of people, including our spouses, and because porn is so prevalent, this TOXIC mindset is overlooked in regards to sex or sexual requests “oh he wants X thing, it’s because he’s a pig and watched an abused woman do it one night”. Um, no. That’s wrong on so many levels, but foremost but it assumes evil where there possibly is none, and it makes UNDEFILED sex, Sex God Approves Of, seem wrong. Don’t you love and respect that man outside of the bedroom? Then why not in?

      My husband likes to watch me get undressed. Even if I’m just changing out of my clothes and putting on pajamas, he’ll stop what he’s doing and watch, even if nothing else happens. It’s an intimate moment in my life that only he is privy to. To do it slower, to tease him, doesn’t mean I’m acting like anyone else. My husband loves ME, he loves MY BODY, and sometimes it’s fun to wind him up. Why must we see stripping for our husbands – be it out of lingerie or jeans and a band tee – as something tawdry? Can we not possibly fathom that they just love us? Who is being perverted here, how our husbands view these acts, or how WE do?

      Good gravy, with advice like this, is it any wonder women don’t want to do what they consider “Icky” sex things – that are healthy, and yes, normal outside of porn – and treat their husbands as if they’re pigs because they wants things that literally were described in the bible between two respectful lovers? Why on earth would any woman ENCOURAGE other women to think of their spouse that way, instead of encouraging them to be liberated and confident in their most intimate relationship?! What’s the line? Only Missionary sex only with the lights off?

      We MUST stop tainting our OWN ideas about sex and our husbands with the worst possible motive simply because we are hesitant or insecure or someone on the internet has told us only icky girls or slaves do it. It ain’t healthy.

      Reply
      • Lindsey

        YES!!! I couldn’t agree with you note, Elisabeth! That’s exactly what I thought reading all of this. WHY do men go to strip clubs? Because they’re wired to like seeing women undress. GOD wired them that way, so it cannot be wrong in and of itself. So, they healthy outlet for said desire is within marriage with one spouse. There’s no reason a woman should assume that her husband is picturing someone else while she undresses, unless he has actually given her a reason to think that (in which case some therapy may be in order and she shouldn’t feel compelled to undress for him). But why do some people want to make everything dirty? I think it is insecurity, because I was that way when I first married. But I’m not anymore, even though I have had four kids and gained a bunch of weight. Women truly need to be encouraged to believe their husbands love for them. After all, the Bible says that “to the pure all things are pure”.

        Reply
      • Daniel

        Elisabeth: Thank you. Your comments are great. We all agree that porn is bad. Nuff said. BUT I totally agree with you, just because porn portrays sexual acts, does not mean that everything portrayed is automatically awful. If that were the case, any sexual act would be awful since every sexual act has been portrayed in porn.

        God told us to find a mate and keep them for life. He also told us to have sex frequently. He wired us to want and need sex. He made us one flesh, and my body is hers, and hers is mine.

        I’m wired to want to see my wife undress, or get dressed, or simply walk past. I love to see my wife in any and all form of attire, or lack thereof. And not because I’ve seen it in porn. I’m wired that way, and I LOVE my wife.

        My ‘fantasy’ is to make my wife moan with ecstasy. Is that wrong? Is it because I’ve seen it in porn? The answer is no. We enjoy a great number of things that are found in porn; oral, hard pounding, 69, doggy style… I could go on for a while. None of these are bad in my marriage, and she enjoys them even more than I do.

        Just be careful with how you think about sex. Sex isn’t supposed to be clinical. It’s supposed to be dynamic and ever changing and honing in on what both partners enjoy. God gave us this gift, don’t waste it.

        Reply
      • Andrea

        This is why fighting porn is such an uphill battle; since sex has become equated with porn, an anti-porn stance is equated with an anti-sex stance.  This is why the radical feminists failed in making it illegal in the 1980s and why Christians are having an impossible time fighting it now. 

        You are assuming I’m insecure or have personal issues because I don’t want to imitate a stripper?  And, regardless, even if it is a personal issue, isn’t that why this blog exists, for women to discuss such stuff?  So please don’t “beg” me to “stop saying it.”  Most women are uncomfortable with stripping, which is why the sex blogs and manuals address it as something that needs to be encouraged, gotten over, etc.  And how did you conclude based on my unwillingness to imitate strippers that I only have missionary sex with the lights off?  Is there really no middle ground?  My comments on other posts include detailed instructions on how to have “faux doggy style” sex for women with vaginismus and how to rub a clitoris correctly to orgasm.  The fact that I don’t think penis-in-vagina sex is proscribed by the Bible actually makes me very liberal, but that’s the other problem; people think that porn culture is liberal and the result of the sexual revolution, when in fact it’s very conservative (just check out Google’s report on which parts of the country seek out online porn the most) and it was radical feminists, as I already mentioned, who tried to make porn illegal.

        To extend an olive branch, I think your description of your husband watching you undress is very sweet, especially since it also involves regular pajamas and jeans, and there is no expectation that sex must happen just because you are taking off your clothes. It is, actually, kind of what I had in mind when I argued for affectionate and playful sex rather than the performative sort.  There are men (including mine) who think those accidental moments are a lot sexier than a performance, which seems fake to some of us, and who prefer sexy cotton over lacy lingerie simply because it’s softer. Consider, for example, that Victoria Secret is closing more and more stores across the country each year and this is considered a good thing even in the liberal mainstream press. My mom and I recently had a conversation about how we were both relieved (I as an embarrassed teenager and she as a concerned mother) when Gap Body opened up and I could buy pretty underwear without feeling I’ve entered a sex dungeon. Can you see how Victoria’s Secret would be more porn-friendly in their presentation whereas Gap Body has more of a friendly/playful vibe? That is one contrasting example I can think of by way of analogy. Maybe it is a personal issue or prejudice (though I won’t apologize for being prejudiced against porn culture), but between the woman who shops at Victoria’s Secret and the one who shops at Gap Body, my bet is on the latter as the more secure and sexually confident one.

        Reply
        • Taunya

          Andrea, I would have to disagree with you. I am ABSOLUTELY confident and that’s why I go to Victoria’s Secret. Also, because my husband loves the sexier stuff and not the I’m a young teen/child vibe of Gap.

          You cannot make blank statements that one is not as sexually confident if they shop at a store that you for some reason equate with porn.

          SOME of us have husbands who LOVE things that make others blush or think we are heathens. NOT BECAUSE of porn…but because we have fought battles you can’t even begin to understand and the freedom of being able to love one another purely and have no shame is amazing.

          The clothes have nothing to do with confidence in our sexuality and your post just made me wanna scream. It’s the very condemnation that left me trapped beneath a layer of guilt and shame.

          The very fact that you call VS a sex dungeon tells me what you think of a woman like me, who walks in that place, at 45 and feels absolutely blessed in heaven that she can walk in there. That it doesn’t make her feel like a dirty little girl her father left in her bedroom.

          You like simple cotton. Great. My husband and I like satin and strings and lace. And you know what? Has NOTHING to do with porn or bad sexuality.

          Reply
    • Anna

      Andrea, your comment really made me stop and think I’m a way I never have before. Thanks for the insights.

      Reply
    • Blessed Wife

      Not commenting on what happens in porn, as I personally have not seen any, but I will say that not every woman engorges with arousal. I don’t at all, never have, even though I may FEEL very excited and exhibit other indications.

      Again, I’m not making a case about what porn actresses are or aren’t feeling. Only that your generalization about what every woman’s body looks like in arousal is over-broad.

      Reply
  8. Anonymous

    I agree that porn is rearing its ugly head in many Christian marriages. If either spouse feels uncomfortable with the request, they have the right to say NO! For example, my wife thinks oral sex is gross and heavily influenced by the porn industry. She has refused to perform oral sex and I honor her refusal. We Christians are trying to justify perverted sex from the culture around us. We must be on guard!

    Reply
    • Natalie

      How sad that we’ve allowed sex acts (like oral sex, an act which is described mutually in Song of Solomon) to be reshaped and redefined in our minds by secular culture and the porn industry. 🙁

      Reply
      • Andrea

        Porn ruins everything and it has saturated everything. Every time you have affectionate, respectful sex (which is starting to sound like an oxymoron, unfortunately), you are fighting porn. I hate when Christians say that not every act portrayed in porn is sinful, since it does include “regular” sex and most Christians these days are also OK with oral. I hate this because the WAY these acts are portrayed is most definitely sinful. So I also want to make it clear that I have no problem with respectful (i.e. non-gagging) oral sex, though I absolutely understand how its portrayal in our porn-saturated society would turn women off.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          That’s so well put, Andrea. Every time you’re being respectful and affectionate, you fight porn. That’s a great way of wording it. And I do think that many people associate the WAY that certain acts are done as the way pornography portrays them. Very, very true. I would say that this includes regular intercourse, which in pornography apparently is very rarely “missionary position” or even the couple facing each other. It’s almost always degrading in some way. And soon teens start to think that that is what intercourse is supposed to be.

          Reply
          • E

            Surely this is a case similar to Paul discussing the eating of meat from temple offerings? For some people these sex acts are fine, and don’t have pornographic connotations, but for others, these sex acts make them feel sinful/dirty etc. if that is how you feel doing them, they OF COURSE you shouldn’t do them, even if other Christ followers don’t feel that way engaging in these acts.

  9. Kate

    I just want to comment a disclaimer. For all the women who send out nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves to their husband better also have nude or semi-nude pictures of their husbands too (and make sure his face is included int the pic). Better to be safe than sorry. Because if he holds that over your head to ruin your life you can do the same thing. I have have seen way to many stupid women offer naked pictures to their husband/boyfriend and they don’t have any of him. Does my disclaimer sound vengeful? Sure. But the Bible says, be smart as a serpent and innocent as a dove.

    Reply
    • Andrea

      Right on, Kate, except I would argue that, due to the nature of the patriarchy, it still would not hurt a man half as much to have his nude photos sent around as it would a woman. There is no slut-shaming of men, in fact, we don’t even have the equivalent of “slut” for a man.

      Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’d just say be careful of sending the photo in the first place. I just don’t think this is wise. Forget the morality of it for a minute. Do you really want that photo in existence somewhere? What if you were to die in a car accident, and your parents went through your stuff? Or what if your kids saw it? So many, many things can go wrong. And then, yes, there’s the revenge porn you’re talking about as well. I know some women do it because they want to and it’s just between them and their husband, but remember that electronically, things can have a hard time staying that way. So just be careful and ask yourself if it’s worth it! (plus there’s always the other issue, as well, of not being able to defeat porn by becoming porn. But that’s a separate thing).

      Reply
      • Kate

        Exactly Sheila! I would rather no one send naked pictures at all. But when you tell someone not to do something they still do it. So my suggestion is to let them know if you’re going to be stupid then don’t go full on stupid. 😀

        Reply
      • unmowngrass

        Even if the other spouse is perfectly respectful etc and never shares/shows it to anyone, don’t forget that images sent digitally have also gone through a server/processing centre somewhere at the network too, and you don’t know how many employees’ hands it’s passed through, so it’s not really private in the way a “live action” photo would be…

        Reply
  10. Mark

    A nurse explained to me that the mind is the most important sex organ. So I began to focus on stimulating my spouses mind, well also gently kissing and nibbling on her neck and the back of her shoulders and other erogenous areas.

    Couples may have their boundaries, but I want to sensually stimulate every square inch of my wife’s mental and physical physical boundaries. I want her to know she is loved and for her to know that she is more desirable and sexier than any other woman in person or in a skin magazine or video. Are we sometimes treating each other like sex objects? Probably, maybe it is pushing the envelope but it is consensual.

    Sometimes I have been guilty of looking at my wife like my personal sex kitten. (she has expressed her physical desires toward me) I like to look into the reflection of the decorative intimate mirror at the head of our bed and see her pretty toes slightly elevated in the air while we are intimate.

    We are very raw, but not into strip tease though we are unafraid to be naked in front of one another as it is already a form of erotic visual and emotional stimulate. Picture taking is somewhat risky as we have seen in social media. Besides we can see the real thing when we are intimate.

    Reply
  11. unmowngrass

    I think the important thing is to realise that each person feels sexy in a bit of a different way. So if you’re having sex with a person, rather than a body, if you know what I mean, then there are going to be some things that make the cut in your relationship that wouldn’t have if you had married somebody different, and also vice versa. And you have to be okay with that.

    So if each person takes responsibility for their own sexuality and focuses on *their own* behaviours that make *themselves* ~feel~ sexy, and their spouse is treating them like a person and not a body, then it should be all good, right? So in other words, no, don’t ~ask~ your spouse to do *anything*, but just enjoy and appreciate the sexy things that they are offering (unless it’s something you have a real problem with, in which case you need to just talk about it with emotional honesty), and then where you do meet is an emotionally unique ground, hallowed to the two of you as a couple, and therefore much more intimate (right?). Because if you get to the point of ~asking~ for something, well, you could also have asked somebody else, so it’s no longer a unique hallowed ground that only those two individuals could ever have reached, right? I get that. SO hard to do, though, because people are all selfish at times, and if one has been pushing sexy thoughts away when they weren’t appropriate, the easiest way to do that is to “bank” them for the future, when it would be appropriate, but then when the future comes, they are now drawing on something put there not by the spouse. And it could be fine, an area of natural overlap… but it could not be too. So it gets messy.

    Reply
  12. Jay

    Ok, if you’re finding issues with the second letter, tell us what the male equivalent of female “lingerie” is? Where’s men’s lingerie that they can twirl around in for us very visual ladies?

    Reply

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