Getting Ready for Sex in Marriage–and Not Being Offensively Attractive

by | Jun 3, 2019 | Sex | 30 comments

Offensively Attractive T shirt, podcasts on getting marriage right

How do you get ready for sex in marriage?

Instead of doing a typical post today, I have a few quick things that I want to share. First, do we set too high expectations for the wedding night? Why is sex often so difficult early on for so many couples?

I sat down with Travis from Practical Christian Podcast for a podcast that was super fun. I thought you all may want to listen!

And I’m having a lot of fun putting the finishing touches on our Honeymoon Course that I’m launching next week. The videos are much more in-depth than I originally planned, but once I started talking there was so much to say! So it’s a great course, and I look forward to showing it to you.

Are you offensively attractive?

Next, we had way too much fun recording our own podcast last week, where Connor (my son-in-law), Rebecca (my daughter) and I all jumped on at the same time to talk about that notorious list of 98 ways women may be sinning against their husbands, along with that scorecard for wives. So far the feedback from the podcast has been great, and if you haven’t listened in yet, this would be a great one to start with.

Anyway, I shared the podcast on Facebook and it got quite a lot of interest. But one of the themes that kept coming up in the comments was that question: “What exactly does being offensively attractive mean?” Because in the scorecard for wives, we were supposed to be attractive, but not offensively so. It got picked up on a lot on Facebook!

Natalie on Facebook got so carried away she actually created T-shirts of it.

You can see all the permutations here! But I just thought that was too funny and I had to share. Sometimes my readers really make me laugh. And you have to laugh at this stuff or you really would cry.

Again, if you haven’t listened to the podcast, this is a great one to start with!

Would you like to hear more from Connor (or from Keith?)

One of my favourite bits of the podcast last week was just hearing Rebecca and Connor interacting. It honestly was a picture of what marriage should look like. I’m thinking of trying to include my husband on some podcasts, just so you all can get to know him. He gets so riled up when I tell him about the stuff that’s being debated on the blog, and I thought sometimes you may all like to hear from him. Any thoughts on that one?

Super Quick Reader Question: Is it reasonable for my husband to want to have sex 2-3 times a day?

Okay, I usually answer a reader question on Mondays, and here’s a quick one I can do. I had a woman write in saying this:


Reader Question

During dating we discussed frequency expectations. We both agreed that 3-4 times a week would be a reasonable expectation with it understood that right around childbirth would change that temporarily.

Very, very quickly into marriage I realized a couple things. First, I love sex with him. It’s amazing, and when it’s 3-4 times a week, I nearly always get amazing orgasms. But, he desires sex waaaaay more! Like, 2-3 times a day. He never, ever would force himself on me, but he gets very downhearted at my ‘lack of desire’. It was manageable up until the baby. I would spend a lot of my day thinking about sex, and working hard to get myself into the mood, and we did it on a daily basis for many stretches of months.

However, with a baby I just don’t have the time to think about sex that much.It’s a huge struggle for me to be interested in sex more than every other day. But, my hubby’s desire seems to be even more intense post-baby than it was pre-baby.

He still agrees that he doesn’t want sex to become all about him. He wants me to want it, and to orgasm regularly from it. But, he also wants it, like ALL the time. It’s becoming such an issue for me. I really would like to be able to just get affection from him, especially after a hard day with the baby, but any cuddling always leads to him asking for sex and being visibly disappointed if I say “Please not just now.” It doesn’t seem to help if I say “I’m really tired tonight, can we plan for tomorrow morning?” If I suggest another time, 99% of the time, we go through with it. But he’s still really disappointed and upset. How should I handle this?

Now, obviously there isn’t a magic number for how often a couple SHOULD be having sex. I will say that more frequently is generally better, but it depends on stage of life, shift work, libidos, etc.

In this case, though, when they’re making love 3-4 times a week still, but he’s very disappointed when she doesn’t want to, even if she gives a rain check (and follows through), then he is not being giving to her. I conversed more with her back and forth, and feeling antsy if you don’t get sex 2-3 times a day is not normal. Let’s remember that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit! And giving your wife some affection and love after a baby comes, and looking out for her welfare (including her need to sleep and recover) is part of being married.

This is not a woman who is denying sex; this is a man with both an abnormally high sex drive and a seeming inability to put his own needs aside for the sake of his wife and baby. And in that case, I’d say that counseling is important to get to the root issue, because this may be a sex addiction situation.

Sometimes women write in and I think, “does she realize that that’s not normal?” Because we don’t talk about these things in detail with friends, do we? But a husband not being able to control his disappointment and getting testy even when he’s getting sex frequently by a woman who really wants it and is sexually responsive–well, that is a red flag to me. So I hope that we can talk about these things more openly so that we can see red flags when they pop up! Otherwise we don’t always have a good idea what normal is. Here’s a post that goes over some frequent red flags for sex and marriage.

Okay, that’s it for today! I’ve got to write two posts for tomorrow–a big one for this blog on that list of sins for wives, and a shorter one for Julie Roys’ blog on the origin of that document. And I’ve got to finish the course! But in the meantime, let me know what you think about Connor and Keith being on the podcast! Or if you have any other thoughts, let me know them, too.

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


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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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  1. endlesscleaner

    He wants it 2-3 times a day?!
    This got me thinking about something that I have been thinking about some time. Can a person in a marriage who doesnt struggle with porn still be a sex addict because thye want sex so much? Or is it a biological thing that some people crave sex so much? My wife and I had sex like 3 days ago and I feel guilty for being sexually frustrated and not being able to concentrate at work because I am only thinking about sex with her. I am not at this guys level with 2-3 times a day. Where does he find the energy?

    • Healing from betrayal

      My husband is in recovery from his SA (sex addiction) and therefore I’ve read quite a bit about it and healing from betrayal. SA isn’t at its root about just sex or porn, but often can be about self-centeredness and objectifying people (and yes you can objectify your spouse too). It can also signify a lack of healthy coping skills and emotional maturity. Brad Hambrick has a questionnaire at his website that can be a tool for those struggling with SAs to find the root of their situation and his survey begins with how you view others.
      Self-centeredness is something we were all born with. As infants we only cared about our needs and how to get someone else to meet them. It’s how we were wired. With loving and mature parents, the infant can grow in the security that the needs will be met and then grow to become more other-centered and hopefully God-centered as the infant matures to adulthood. But many of us had trauma, immature parents that didn’t help that process or even tore it down, disorders that stunted the process, or poor teaching that worked against that process. Therefore when we see today that we can’t seem to get beyond what we want in order to give to others in a particular area (and not just sex- could be anything), that’s where self-centeredness is growing and could use some time and energy to uncover the source. And the great thing about God is that He can work with someone who didn’t receive the maturing process the way He designed it and help them grow into the mature adult He intended. I know this- He did it for me as an adult.

      • Phil

        For me ad a recovering SA “God working with me” was offering a way out and I have built it from there yah!

  2. Arwen

    Yes, please, have both Keith and Connor on the podcast. Heck, have your whole family on the podcast too someday! Every one of you are so mature and filled with wisdom i LOVE listening to you all.

    P.S. Sheila, this is Kate, i’m changing my name because there are way to many Kate’s who comment on this blog. I changed my name to my favorite female movie character. So from now on i’ll be using Arwen so that my comment doesn’t get confused with the other females who comment on here.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Got it, Arwen! 🙂 I like the new name. And I’ll tell Keith he’s hired.

  3. Phil

    Good morning Sheila – a good blend of Conner and Keith would be great. I would love to get to know them both and I think since you are talking about marriage here and that is your primary focus…..besides helping women…..the other perspective is important. You could really balance it out with all the other stuff that you do. It would be fitting with men’s corner as well if you are continuing that path. I think that adding a male component to your blog and education programs just opens up your readership and expands your horizons. My 2 cents. Thanks. Have a great day.

    • Phil

      oh – and here is my definition for: Offensively attractive – when God made a woman beautiful and a man can’t handle it.

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire


    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Love that! Keith would participate more on the blog, but he’s just really busy at work. It’s not that he doesn’t agree with what I do or anything like that. So maybe I’ll see if I can pin him down to record some stuff soon!

      • Phil

        Sheila. Why dont you keep it casual and when you guys are talking just record him and then edit him in? It wont be 100% the same but hey it would be a start…just thinking of ways to help. Plus I really want to hear what Keith had to say….

        • Rebecca Lindenbach

          The reason we don’t do that is that we’re quite dedicated to making our podcast as to-the-point as possible. It’s hard to edit down actual conversations that spread over a few hours into good sound bites and not misrepresent what someone said. So we prefer to take some time aside specifically for that task–it allows the person to think about what they say, get their message across, and also produce a podcast without the chit-chat that many find frustrating that we tend to steer clear from. And I think it would be fun to have Dad do some podcasts, too! But just so you know how it works behind the scenes! 🙂

          • Phil

            Hi Becca! I was thinking more along the lines of Keith snippets. After your Mom and Dad talk about the topics that come up your Mom simply gets him to record a couple summary points about the topic on her phone. Say, a couple sentences. Then you play them during the podcast and your Mom backs them up with your discussions or discuss it further etc. A podcast is pretty much radio so if you think of it like that where a morning show might take say the Presidents brief comments and then talk about them. Anyway…I get its hard and us readers don’t know all the details that go into doing what you do. I suppose my idea could run interference on the normals of life…. Best wishes on how you might develop your blog, podcasts, books and educational courses. Thanks for all you do.

  4. Lois

    I think it would be awesome to hear more from Keith & Conner, especially when you’re talking about topics like this last week, with submission and abuse and those horrific lists. I think it adds another layer of credibility and strength for women in these situations to also hear MEN denouncing it, because most likely, all the men in their life are backing it up, which is very sad.

    Also, I told my husband if you guys ever do a conference near us, we’re going. Period! So it would be awesome to hear Keith on the podcast so I can send my husband over to listen a bit too!

  5. Kathryn

    Yes I think it would be awesome to hear more from Keith and Conner. I love hearing couples working together as a team. It blesses my heart!!
    Last weeks podcast was so good. Loved it.
    I am so thankful for all the things you talk about that many people don’t. So thanks for all the tearing down and the building up! ☺

  6. Christina

    Yes put Keith on the show! Me and my husband talk often of how frustrating it is, that the majority of voices on any of these “non traditional Christian views” are female. Where are the men?! For sure women can learn from men and men from women, but so often when dealing with sensetive issues like submission and sex and finances and house work, it can be easier for a woman to hear from a woman and a man to hear from a man. Please please keep Conar talking and pass the microphone to Keith as often as he wants it! Men are listening and desiring to honor God in their lives and marriages, and they are just trying to navigate it all like us women are.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Great feedback! Thank you.

  7. Kay

    Totally off topic, but have you ever talked about sex and periods?! If so, can you lead me to the links? Thanks!

    • Arwen

      You can always use the Search tool to find a topic you’re interested reading about. She has covered a lot on this blog.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m not sure if I have! Maybe I should do a poll on it and then post on that!

      • EM

        Please do! My sister and I were laughing so hard about this topic the other day because we feel very in the dark!

  8. Emma

    Yes! It would be great to hear from Connor and Keith!

    Also, after last week’s podcast, my husband has started calling me “offensively attractive”. 🤣🤣

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      We had a friend visit my girls today (they’re home for a few days) and as she walked in the door, she said, “Why, Rebecca, you’re looking rather offensively attractive.” I seriously may need one of those t-shirts!

  9. KellyK

    I would love to hear from Keith! He has lots of wisdom to share 🙂

  10. The Yeti

    Offensively attractive: that’s my wife, even though she doesn’t seem to recognise it. And she seems to get more cute and beautiful with every year that passes. Just need to go for long runs and cold showers to control my hands when I’m near her!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire


  11. Libl

    His serotonin levels might be off.

    He needs a hobby or exercise program or household project.

    He needs to deal with whatever it is that he is masking with the dopamine rush of orgasm.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Good thoughts, Libl! And hi again. I haven’t seen you around in a while! 🙂

  12. Lindsey

    I second the comment above about exercise. If letter writer’s husband works a mentally stressful but physically inactive job he should definitely take up an exercise regimen – more intense the better. If he needs more companionship, there are often city sports leagues he could join, if he prefers to be alone weight training is an excellent option. Whether or not he is a sex addict, he definitely needs to add in strenuous exercise, which may set him in a better place and help the sex he does have be more enjoyable for himself and his wife. Lastly, marriage partners shouldn’t pout or sulk when they don’t get their own way – it’s manipulative and childish.

  13. Lisa

    I love it when Keith and Connor come on the blog and podcast! Please continue! I have an idea for a podcast, too. I’d love for Keith and Connor, with their backgrounds, to discuss the book “Growing Kids God’s Way” by Marie & Gary Ezzo.

    We are somewhat similar to the couple in the reader question. I am a high-drive wife. Once a day is my preferred frequency. My husband is a very high drive husband, though, and twice a day is his preferred frequency. However, he absolutely can deal with it if circumstances bring us down to 4-5 times a week. There have even been seasons of life where we were down to 1-2 times a week. He might be disappointed and a little physically frustrated but he doesn’t pester me or think I’m withholding. He knows that life can be brutal at times. I wonder if this is a maturity issue for this reader’s husband. We have to find ways to manage our frustrations because we don’t always get what we want.


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