Should This Wife Have to Be Sexier? I’m Asking YOU!

by | Aug 26, 2019 | Uncategorized | 82 comments

How Should this Woman Act Sexier
Merchandise is Here!

I need your help to figure out how to help this woman who wants to be sexier.

I can’t do it myself, because Saturday, I did this:

 I was cutting an onion to make dinner when Connor and Rebecca came back to town for the weekend and after the first slice thought, “Wow, this knife is really dull.  I should probably get a better knife, this could be dangerous. But the better knife is in the dishwasher and would require being washed. Eh, this is fine.” And the second slice sent me to the ER.

Anyway, I’m just frustrated with myself because I had that whole sequence of thoughts and still used the freaking knife and now I can’t type (in fact, I am dictating this and Rebecca is typing it out and laughing at me and inserting some creative liberties). So I was going to answer this reader question today. But instead, since I can’t type, I want to give you the chance to give some thoughts! Here’s the question:

I’ve been married for a few months. My husband and I were both virgins on our wedding night. We both adore each other and the friendship aspect of our marriage couldn’t be better! In fact, the romance couldn’t be better. My husband is very physically affectionate, caring, and sweet with me. But when it comes to sex, I’m very interested in lovemaking all the time but he often would rather do anything else. (No history of porn use or molestation.) It is really painful to get turned down, especially since I thought I was giving him a wonderful gift that most husbands would love to receive! Finally the other day he let me know very kindly that it would really help him if I learned how to be sexy. He said, “I know you’ve spent your whole life in the purity culture learning NOT to be sexy.” and he’s right. I don’t know how! He mentioned that some girls with the way they act and carry themselves can make every man in the room want them. But what are they doing? Can you help me? I love my husband dearly and I know he loves me, but I don’t know how to turn him on. I’m willing to learn!

I think there are two separate issues here: First, her later question about how to be sexy is a perfect legitimate question that many people will have, and I’m actually planning on making our entire weekly challenge based on that question tomorrow. So if you have ideas/tips, leave comments about that, too! However, and Connor, Becca and I have been talking we also see a red flag with the first half of the question. Here’s our line of thinking:

  • He’s a young guy who was a virgin at the wedding and less than 6 months in doesn’t seem excited about sex anymore. However, it’s not that he says he has low libido, he says it’s that she’s not sexy enough. That, to us, is strange.
  • He’s comparing her to other women which makes us think that even if there is no porn use in his history, there’s definitely something wrong with how he’s talking about sex with his wife which likely means there’s something off in how he’s seeing sex.
  • It also may be that he has an image of sex and sexiness that involves feeling pursued–some women have a very flirty aura, they walk in and they give off the impression that, “I want you,” and it may be that he has this idea/fantasy in his head that that’s how sex is supposed to play out all the time in marriage, too. There’s nothing inherently wrong in wanting to be pursued. And so we’re also wondering, is he pursuing her? Or is he expecting a one-sided sexual relationship?
  • Although it doesn’t sound like it from the letter, it also may be that she truly is asking for sex in a way that is turning him off. Maybe when initiating, she acts younger in an attempt to be funny, silly or cute and he gets freaked out because it feels a bit like he’s talking to a teenager (and not wanting to have sex with a teenager is a very good thing!). I think if that’s the case he likely would have phrased it more as “When you ask for sex this way, I get uncomfortable” rather than “Other women are sexy and you need to learn from them,” but we thought it was an important point to consider. 
  • Finally, we were wondering if within this marriage, maybe this husband is simply more of a submissive type and wants to be the submissive one in the sexual relationship and doesn’t feel like she’s being dominant enough. Maybe to him, she’s not coming on strong enough when it comes to sex. Maybe they need to talk about what mutual sex looks like and honestly, I’d just recommend 31 Days to them because I really did write it to help couples who were in these weird communication breakdowns around sex. And hey–the online version is only $4.99 right now but it will be going up in price in 2020 because I just sold it to Zondervan! So get it now if you’ve been putting it off!

Need an easier way to have these conversations?

31 Days to Great Sex guides you through exercises so that you can talk about libido, frequency, intimacy, in a low-stress, easy way.

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

So those are our thoughts in a nutshell. What are yours? Let us know 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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82 Comments

  1. Jay

    If he really doesn’t watch porn or have an issue with it, there’s an alternative reason as to why he may think she’s not “sexy enough”. The media propagates the ideas behind being sexy all the time, through movies and music and tv shows and advertisements as well! Often that enough is alone to set up a poor view of marriage and sex alone for young couples.

    It’s also interesting that normally its husbands that want to be pursued but in this case its the wife that could use some pursuing when it comes to sex. Another example of how libido is not a one size fits all like the world tells us!

    Reply
    • Pamela

      Yes! Love this…

      Reply
    • Jordan

      Perfect response Jay! Libido is a crazy thing!

      Reply
  2. Jessica

    If there truly are no issues (porn, abuse, whacked out thinking, etc), my 2c is that it can take some time (or at least it did for us) to figure out what sort of initiation strategies don’t make the other one just roll their eyes and be decidedly not turned on. And I’d assume (not having consulted the national public about this) that it varies from couple to couple and 6 months in is early in the game for figuring this out.

    As for the “some women have that aura about them” part – well, obviously this guy picked this girl so she must have had an aura about her that attracted him to her so maybe refer back to that? What about her, made her attractive enough to him that he bought a ring? This is more a line of conversation with him than her, but I suppose there could be some thought for her about, is she acting a different way in marriage than she did before marriage.

    Reply
  3. Colleen G

    I’m not really an “act sexy” kind of girl. I think the young hubby is confusing a certain type of female personality type as the only definition of sexy/seductive. He is expecting his wife to be someone she is not. Not all women can behave that whether they were raised in the purity culture or not. If I had to I would be putting on a play-act and not be myself when it came to enticing my husband which wouldn’t be good in the long run.
    It does seem rather odd that he is so fixated on this mental image that he is subtly rejecting his wife because she is not meeting his fantasy. Fantasy can be picked up from any source not just porn. He could have just been really drawn in by that enticing sexy female personality type from Tv and movies.
    My husband wanted a much more direct approach from me. So we compromised. I found a few ways to be direct without feeling awkward and turned off/distracted and he learned to read my less obvious but still clear messages of desire. It was simply a difference between expecting a flashing neon sign and getting a handwritten message instead. The message was still there but not in the expected format. He can read the handwriting now for what it is conveying and I’ve found ways to add some lighting effects to the message. None of that would have gotten smoothed out without the advice from this site.

    In my opinion it sounds like the young husband has over focused on his expected fantasy to the point where it is causing him to reject reality. Could his wife learn to act more sexy? Sure but it has only been 6 months of marriage to undo whatever purity culture baggage she learned over her lifetime.

    Reply
  4. Laura

    It sounds like they need an honest talk. 1. What does he mean by needing her to be more sexy? He needs to fine it to better understand where he’s coming from.
    2. Is he being honest about not using porn? If he needs her to act in a certain way to be aroused, he may not be truthful here.
    3. No couple has identical drives. And sex isn’t just intercourse. I would recommend working together to make a list of sex activities other than intercourse to choose from when he’s not wanting intercourse, but you are.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m thinking like your #2.

      Reply
    • MidwestWife

      So it seems more like an appearance thing if he says some women can walk into the room and just be sexy. That says they display a certain look or attitude. So is the author wearing beat up clothes or form fitting, enhancing type clothes? Is she just rolling out of bed and going for it? I mean most men will take any of it but perhaps if it’s ALWAYS the same look/scenario, it gets old? How did she look when they were dating? That’s evidently what he likes so going back to that would likely solve the problem. I disagree that him being honest about what he wants signifies a porn problem, in fact I think the opposite- that he’s wanting to make his marriage sex life fulfilling without going to porn.

      Reply
      • unmowngrass

        Yes, he wants to “avoid” using porn, but he wants to do it by what sounds like attempting to turn his actual wife into his own private porn star.

        I have noticed a lot of times that when people make BIG sacrifices for God, sacrifices that actually BURN, that they have an underlying expectation that they will be repaid in kind. A lot of times they don’t even realise it.
        Spend your child-bearing years either single or with a guy who is against starting a family… say it doesn’t matter so long as you still have a house full of god-children, neices and nephews to love. But then it’s akin to a second loss when you get those kids and they don’t adore you like you’d hoped, you don’t see them all that often anyway, and then you realise that God never promised you that house full of love at all. (Me.)
        Same if you gamble your entire future and certainty to go live on faith as a missionary… and then go around declaring that God is going to give you absolute certainty about the future spouse of your kids before you even let them date. (Someone I have met.)
        Or you spend your teens and young adulthood running from sexual temptation that actually really was very very very tempting… and then you want your wife, that you’re now allowed and encouraged to have sex with, to be so overtly sexy that she puts all those other instances to shame. (Guy in this article.)
        But in all of these cases, it’s a sign of spiritual immaturity. Of not actually valuing Jesus more than you value the thing you’ve sacrificed, even though the act of sacrificing it does show that you want to (or perhaps think that you should).

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Really well put!

          Reply
    • Michelle G

      I immediately was thinking #2 when I read her words.

      Reply
    • Laura

      Yeah, I’m really not buying the “doesn’t use porn” thing. His blame-shifting exacerbates that impression. This does not sound to me like something that is her problem. It sounds like a husband who is sinning and blaming his wife.

      Reply
      • Stephanie

        I agree

        Reply
      • unmowngrass

        I agree it is his problem not hers, definitely, but, as I said above, I think it’s a spiritual immaturity thing; I don’t think it is an overt sin thing, unless he’s being unkind about it, which she says he is not. He has been unwise, saying it to her (even though she asked), because he should have sought counsel from a more mature Christian man he respects, and not put his issues all over her, but I do not think he has sinned. And I do buy that he hasn’t looked at porn, at least not extensively, because it is common enough even in church circles these days that if he has been asked directly, there is no longer an additional stigma to be evaded by lying. In some ways it’s almost the easy way out to say yes and then blame everything on that, which he has not done. So for me that part does add up. /my2c

        Reply
    • Blessed Wife

      Yes!!! My thoughts exactly, to all of these!

      Reply
  5. R

    We’re they attracted to reach other before they got married? Was he interested in her in that way before? It sounds like she has the higher drive. Him asking her to act like other women is not okay. If there is an area in her life that he wants to help her overcome, change, etc, then yes he should be there for her. But asking her to be a certain way otherwise he can’t get turned on? I’d be concerned.

    Reply
  6. Bethany

    I wonder why he wants a wife that puts off an aura that makes every man want her instead of the wife he has who is very interested in sex with him alone. Especially in the first 6 months my husband wouldn’t care if I was in sweats, if I initiated he would be happy as a clam! Like you said Sheila, we don’t know if she is acting corny or silly, but if she is just behaving normal I think the issue lies with HIM and his expectations.

    Reply
  7. Phil

    For me my wife is sexy just standing there. I think a maybe answer is this pending no issues in the relationship:. The guy wants her to build sex up. Flirt. Build the excitement. Now my own troubles are figured into this comment so my filter may be skewed. Seems the post offers maybe the way she is approaching sex is a turn off or maybe he is just looking for variety. For us sex is usually boom we are having sex. My issues are that we often contain sex to the bedroom and there is no build up. I am not saying we have to have sex in the garage or even that there is something wrong with boom we are having sex. I am saying variety and build the excitement. Flirt, have sex be something that you Do together in ways that builds pleasure for you both. Sexy dares is supposed to help with that. For me if we could build sex up by having something that is part of our relationship like a regular thing we do together anywhere like planning menus for the week that would help build anticipation. Of course planning menus while we are driving is much different than flirting while kids are in the car but hey. Brief Discretion of a sexy moment while planning a mundane everyday thing could really help this guy. Me too lol. Anyway thats my 2 cents. Have a great day and so sorry about your cut. Looks kinda bad. Praying for your quick recovery.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thanks, Phil! It actually doesn’t hurt that much anymore. I just seriously can’r type! (left spell misrakes o prove it)

      Reply
  8. Lindsey

    I really do believe that he is lying to her about the porn. I mean, sure – maybe he’s never looked at hard core porn, but he has most likely been masturbating for years to images of other women and the fantasies that he’s built in his mind. I feel a deep sense of foreboding for this sweet, naive young woman – when she finds out the truth she’ll be heart broken.

    But, just for argument’s sake: let’s say that this man truly is pure in mind and just doesn’t find his wife sexy. He’s still selfish and immature. Selfish because he is obviously more concerned with sex on his terms than meeting his wife’s needs or making her feel loved, and immature because if you want something different in initiation (been there, it does happen) the onus is on you to have clear, useable instructions and not just “other women do it right, maybe you could learn from them”. Deciphering what other women “do right” for him is his responsibility so that he can share with his wife what sexy means to him, preferable by showing her through initiating sex. If he is too lazy to do that than he should just quietly accept the status quo.

    I don’t think this women needs to become “sexier”, I think she needs to insist on counseling before she spends years trying and failing to satisfy him, loses self-respect, and is a hollow shell of who she once was. Hopefully a counselor can help them work through the issues (which I believe are much deeper than a simple difference in preference). She needs to insist on it now, early on, while she still has a modicum of power in the relationship.

    Sometimes we can avoid seeing “red flags” of personality disorders in other parts of our relationship much longer than in this most intimate part. So, it’s possible that the rest of their relationship isn’t as good as she’s telling herself that it is. Either way, seeing a professionally trained counselor is in order.

    Maybe I’m overreacting, but this is what my gut is telling me based on the letter.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Totally agree wirh wverything you’ve writen. If I could rype righ I’d say ir roo. (leaving misakes in ro prove how bad I am)

      Reply
      • Vincent

        Ladies I must admit I am taken a bit aback here. Because of its general balance fairness and insights, I read this site fairly often during the year and have recommended it to my children as they marry. Even after many decades of marriage I am still finding my way, and frankly, learning to recognize my own selfishness and quash it. I also still struggle to understand my loving wife and read her cues.

        Our physical intimacy is quite frequent (several times per week) even after both menopause and retirement age. And yet, we can still misfire, and each of us occasionally annoys, hurts or misreads the other.

        Therefore, the vehemence and negativity of the response here was disconcerting. We are told very little on which to base judgment. The young woman wants sex, but the young man somehow misses the cues or finds her off-putting. The reaction on this blog in general seems to be that a) he shouldn’t ask her to do any thing differently; b) maybe there is something wrong with his attitude c) he is likely to be looking at porn and d) regardless of anything else, he was a meanie to say something like that.

        While I agree that his comment was tactless and likely counterproductive (and believe me I have been there too), how can we possibly judge him in the absence of information about her behavior and appearance? Although it pains me, I find that young people today use the term “sexy” much more broadly than I do. We don’t know how he is using it; what he means, or really, what she thinks he means.

        We also do not know how she takes care of herself, or what she wears. As Sheila has pointed out, we males are visual creatures. This post gives us no idea of what he is seeing is he seeing? Does she tie up her hair and put on flannel nightgowns or old boxer shorts and tank tops and dive under the covers in milliseconds? Does she think that home is the place to “chill” and so wear no makeup until she goes somewhere else, and tuck unkempt hair under baseball caps?

        We further do not know how she acts around him, or what she, an admittedly inexperienced girl, thinks are sexual signals. Are they intelligible? Even after many years together, people miss signals.

        Finally, is it true that she has no obligation to do anything to appeal to her husband or attract him? If husbands are to put wives first, tend to wives’ pleasure first, be gentle, sensitive and loving, is there no quid pro quo? That is not how I have read Sheila’s other work. I have never understood Sheila to advocate one sided, unidirectional relationships. Am I wrong?

        Reply
    • April

      I agree, Lindsey. I saw lots of red flags in this letter. I would be willing to bet there are some lust/porn/masturbation issues going on. Just because he says there isn’t, does not make it true. But, really, he is putting her in an impossible situation. She isn’t good enough to meet his undefined standards, and she has to look to other women outside of their relationship to figure out how to meet those undefined standards. I’d be willing to bet the goalposts will be moved often and she will never be able to get it right, now matter how hard or what she tries. This seems really pessimistic, but I am jaded by my own experience of being told that I am “not sexy enough” and I need to be like “other women.”

      Reply
      • Laura

        “The goalposts will be moved often.” So much yes to this. If it’s anything like my situation, no matter what she does, it will NEVER be enough and she will always be criticized for for something else she’s doing wrong, while he continues to hide his sin. (My situation wasn’t primarily sexual, but the same principles apply.)

        Reply
    • Jen

      I don’t think you’re over reacting, Lindsey, those are the same red flags I instantly had after reading her letter. I would bet anything he is lying about the porn, or else he has been masturbating to his own fantasies in his head, which is essentially the same thing. Either way, he has no business bringing that sort of selfishness into a marriage and then dumping it into his new wife… I hope they can get to the bottom of what is going on, and get healthy. Otherwise she may be in for a lot of heartbreak.

      Reply
    • Michelle G

      My gut was the same. I agree.

      Reply
    • S

      Lindsey you took the words right out of my mouth!

      Reply
    • Susie

      LIndsey, I only read the original post last night and several of the reolies. I went to bed thinking about this couple and woke up thinking about them. you stated most of my thoughts. This girl doesn’t need to try to be more sexy for her husband. If she does, it will never be enough; he will always want something additional. She cannot measure up to his fantasy life. I lived this life for many years. My husband did have sex with me, but was often dissatisfied with me. I tried many things and finally realized the real problem was his previous solo sex and fantasizing.
      I seriously doubt that this husband is telling the whole truth. Where does he get the image of how sweet wife should act? And, if he is not having sex with her where, how is he having sexual release? He is having sex somewhere, somehow. He may have gotten to a point that he cannot be aroused or have erection without his specific fantasy.
      She must get to a counselor asap, preferably one trained in sexual addiction and insist that he go also, and insist that he tell the truth.
      This is NOT her fault, and she cannot fix it.

      Reply
  9. Megan

    I’m really hurting for her. I feel like there is some sort of dysfunction here: maybe porn, or a sexy/flirty “friend” at work, or … I don’t know. You’re sharing a bed with your wife, who wants to have sex with you. I think most men would find that to be “enough.” I’m not feeling very eloquent right now, but I’m hoping my husband and I will be model for our kids that whatever your spouse is, THAT is what is sexy.

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    The whole point of maintaining virginity until you get married is so you have the opportunity to build your sexuality exclusively around your spouse. The introduction of “other women” immediately into the conversation is a kick to the gut and a huge concern.

    He isn’t asking her to experiment and learn what works for them, he’s asking her to meet a preset expectation he has based on women that are not his wife. He has already wired his own sexuality around “other women” and expects her to get on board.

    And dear reader – please seek guidance, wisdom and support. It is very likely (based on nothing other than statistics) that he is lying to you about the porn. Best case – he’s qualifying HBO as “not porn”, but more realistically he’s just flat lying. If you ask wives of current porn addicts, most of them were lied to and blindsided. That’s the script it follows.

    My husband and I were baptized together when we were engaged. I can’t tell you how many times over our nine year courtship I shared with him my heart about porn and thanked him profusely for not engaging in the exploitation of human souls and for not making me compete with those kinds of standards. Fast forward to just before our second anniversary – turns out he’s been addicted and using nearly daily since he was 10.

    Reply
    • Recovering from betrayal

      I saw the red flags too. I echo the other comments- requests in relationships need to be well defined and respectful of the personhood of the partner. His request was neither.

      If he isn’t involved in porn (and that’s a giant if), then at the least he needs to learn about respectful communication.

      But also, the reader may want to define her term in asking him questions. I heard from the SA that I’m married to that it wasn’t porn because it wasn’t as bad as the porn other men watched. Addicts define things to suit and hide their addiction. So if she is going to question him, she needs to define the terms in her question. And it would be good to know that addicts can look you in the eye and lie through their teeth. That was my experience for more than 20 years. I hope she will find truth before I did. 🙁

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Good advice and observation. I’m so sorry for what you went through and sounds like are still going through.

        Like guys, can you please love your wife? If not, can you please not marry her? You can totally marry porn and stay with it forever and have it for free and basically no one will judge you anymore. I mean sure you’re trafficking in human lives and will have to answer to God someday, but at least you’d have one less casualty if you didn’t marry some woman you don’t love and don’t want to have sex with.

        Why do you marry wives you don’t love? Stop it.

        Reply
        • AJ

          As most of the other commenters, this strikes me as super “off”.
          When my husband and I were married we were both virgins and I also had a purity culture background (my husband did as well, but a much more balanced and healthy version of it). I didn’t come to our marriage bed all sexy. In fact, on our wedding night I slept in a t-shirt and sweats because that was my current version of “scandalous” and I didn’t know what else to do — I know… Poor hubby! But it didn’t last long like that:)
          I came to our marriage with a desire to serve my husband, but also with lots of fears and inhibitions. I can assure you though that my current lack of “sexiness” was no deterrent to my sweet husband. He so tenderly assured me of his love and constant attraction and desire for me and the sexy wife he perceived me to be that he MADE me into a sexy wife.

          To a healthy virgin husband (minus porn addictions), a sexy wife is one who desires you and aims to please you — regardless of her dress or deportment. And I firmly believe in that definition, albeit self-made:)
          I’d like to tell this sweet young women that by this definition, she IS sexy!

          Coming from the purity culture and her husband telling her he feels she’s still suffering from that mentality could mean many things. On a super practical note, purity culture dress can completely either be baggy jeans dresses or just plain normal up-to-date modest with nothing wrong here at all. I would encourage her to evaluate the basic practical elements of attractive dress and how she compares to this. NO, it’s not all about looks and dress — I’ve already stated she doesn’t need this to be sexy. But it might help the way she is feeling about herself right now and give her reassurance that’s she’s doing “her part.”

          1. Discuss with her husband his ideas of modesty and how he would like to see her dressing and see if there’s a breakdown between them on this, or if it’s simply a deportment issue/twisted idea of how he thinks she should be acting. If his requests and ideas on this are reasonable and doesn’t go against her conscience, she should consider changing things up a bit.
          2. Maybe start with underclothes — make sure things are attractive. Again, there’s no need to spring for “super sexy,” but try for something fun that stretches you a little, but you’re still comfortable in.
          3. Evaluate her wardrobe and see if it’s attractive and fairly up-to-date.
          4. Evaluate hairstyle and see if a new hairstyle would positively change her look.
          (I know Sheila has an excellent Fight The Frump series.)
          5. Consider a few differing ways to change things up/pursue in the bedroom (maybe tell him you would like to “ride him”, or something more proactively sexy like that, when you’re having sex use more vocalizations, etc.)

          If she tries these things (or is already doing them) and none of it appears to be helping and he’s still telling her she “isn’t sexy enough” and it’s her issue rather than his, it’s seriously time for her to consider that there’s a larger issue at play here and she should definitely not be doubting or placing blame on herself.

          Reply
          • AJ

            And this is an accidental “response” to a comment. I’m not sure why this keeps coming up as the only comment box for me.

  11. City Gal

    Wait … something is seriously wrong. This young man is at the height of his sexual prowess and he is making his wife RESPONSIBLE for why he can’t or won’t have sex
    Is he gay !?

    Reply
    • Steph

      I read this scenario to my husband and his first words were, “he is gay”. He was raised in the purity culture and getting married to another virign was the “right” thing to do. His thought was that their friendship is great and he is romantic with no ambition of sex and now he’s trying to place that responsibility or blame on the wife as a cover-up.

      Reply
  12. Rosa A. Hopkins

    I was raised with very strict ideas about not attracting attention, and it is very hard to act like a ‘normal’ adult who is able to be sexy. I repress all cues and vibes regarding my feelings in this area, and it is difficult to simply shut that off. That said, sometimes sex between a couple is like a dance, and they have to figure out the steps that work for them. They may be perfectly healthy but have not yet found the secret sauce that gets each other going. It may just be that they need to experiment with different things and see what happens. He might find himself jealous if she suddenly is able to turn the heads of every man in the room and likely just means he wants her to own her sexuality with confidence.

    Reply
  13. Praying 4 Better Days

    Well I’m a 30+ yr old virgin who apparently doesn’t fit the “typical virgin model” because no one ever considers that I’m a virgin or could be…based on my appearance. I’ve been told that I don’t look like a virgin by men & women because they say I’m too attractive…not to have had somebody to have tried to “break” me yet? I’ve also been told by guys that I’ve dated that I know too much about sex & know my body too well for a virgin…so apparently to them a virgin is supposed to be just a doll to be played with and/or trained.

    I can’t speak for this lady’s husband but I will say that when people believe in an image that they create for you or a situation like sex…it’s hard to break them from it.

    He was a virgin TOO…so what/who does he have to compare sex from? He has to have an image in his head that he’s trying to recreate. If he’s going by a sex scene from a tv show or porn movie…he’ll never live up to it because those scenes are fairy tales & don’t show or have the two actors telling how they really feel.

    I believe she needs to check his perspectives first…instead of automatically trying to CHANGE HERSELF. Maybe he needs to question if something is off with him & his performance as to why he’s not enjoying or wanting sex. He needs to question why all of sudden as a former virgin himself…now thinks his former virgin wife isn’t sexy enough. How does he NOT know that he himself is not the one who is awkward in bed.

    Lastly when somebody is insecure with themselves & don’t see themselves as the issue/problem…they will try to make the other person the problem. This young lady is feeling insecure…but she’s seeking knowledge to better herself…& she doesn’t even know if something wrong with herself…she’s not even questioning if it’s him and these 2 were both virgins TOGETHER.

    Reply
    • Recovering from betrayal

      Very good point. Leslie vernick talks about the healthy person being self aware and checking themselves first and the unhealthy person always assuming the problem is someone else and not having good self awareness.

      Reply
      • Praying 4 Better Days

        And then comes the other tough part of figuring out that the lack of self-awareness is driven by ignorance. Or it’s instead an act of selfishness. Both scenarios hurt but atleast one’s done by accident the other just hurts you until you finally break & give in or give up and leave.

        Reply
  14. T

    My husband and I married as virgins, and we’re still learning things that work/don’t really work to “turn each other on” or drive the other crazy (in a good way)…but this sounds really different than just trying to learn what specific things in sex your spouse really likes. I’ve discovered with myself lately that sometimes I have unmet expectations for how a certain situation/sexual encounter should go, and my husband and I talk about those. BUT, while different people like different things, sex should be mutual and a time together to figure out what you both like…to learn all about the other person and their body…and just to enjoy each other. Even if certain things my husband and I do in sex don’t always “do it” for me, the fact that I’m with my husband – the man I love (plus the man I’m so attracted to!) – just makes it all a “passionate adventure,” like you say, Sheila :). This woman’s comment raised a lot of red flags for me too. IF porn use isn’t a part of the picture, why does he have all these expectations?? It’s confusing to me, as it’s not clear what he wants or why he’s comparing his wife to other women. (Maybe he’s trying to tell her what he likes but not communicating well?) I’m guessing he had an unrealistic expectation of sex before they got married and isn’t realizing that it’s a beautiful journey and a process. (And that the person you married isn’t always like “other women”!) Just my two cents. But I hope and pray that this couple is able to communicate and go to counseling for this!! <3

    p.s. hope you heal fast, Sheila!!!

    Reply
  15. Melissa W

    Without hearing from the guy and only going off what she is saying, there are obviously a lot of possible things going on here. Everyone is going to see this question from the lens of their own experience and thus the fact that lots of people are seeing “red flags”. However, what if it isn’t any of those. What if he just in fact is not expressing himself well. Maybe when he says “when other women walk in a room and every man wants her” he is talking about being sexually confident? My husband has told me repeatedly that confidence is the sexiest thing. She doesn’t give any indication what sex is like. Maybe she is just laying there and letting him do all the work. Maybe she isn’t letting him explore her body and give her pleasure. Maybe she insists the lights remain off, they stay under the covers and she remains mostly clothed. We really just don’t know except that sex has gotten boring for him. It could be as simple as by “sexy” he really means sexually confident.

    The other thing to consider is maybe he just doesn’t want to have sex everyday because that does easily become routine and boring. Again, we have no indication of what sex is like for them so it could honestly just be getting boring. I remember a few months into marriage my husband telling me that he didn’t want to have sex everyday because the sex itself was better in quality if we waited a day or two. Quality was more important than quantity to him and build up added to better quality especially in the early months since you are both just figuring sex out.

    Just a couple other possibilities to consider without jumping to “there is something wrong with him and he is obviously lying to her about porn.”

    Reply
    • Lindsey

      I understand where you’re coming from, but she says that her husband “would rather do anything else” than have sex. I’m sorry, but that is NOT normal newlywed, previously a virgin, Not self-gratifying behavior. Adding to that the fact that he’s saying “other women are sexy and make all the guys want them, why can’t you be like that?” And there is a serious issue. Exactly what it is no one here can know, but she should insist on therapy because there are too many problems that the longer they go on the less power she will have in the relationship to insist on it.

      Reply
      • Nathan

        I must have missed that part where he said that he would rather do anything else than have sex. Yes, this is NOT typical behavior from a young just married man. On an episode of Dr. Phil many years ago, once recently married young man said that he expected to have sex four times a day!

        Reply
      • Melissa W

        Hi Lindsey. I hear what you are saying but again different people are going to see if from different lenses depending on their experience. I have been married for 22 years. I have an amazing sex life with my husband and have the entire time and yet in the early months my husband didn’t want to have “sex all the time”.

        To quote the letter writer “But when it comes to sex, I’m very interested in lovemaking all the time but he often would rather do anything else.” She wants to have sex all the time and he doesn’t want to. Not all guys, even virgin guys, want to have sex all the time. Also, she said “he often would rather do anything else”. He did not say that, she said that about him. Again, 22 years of an amazing marriage and great sex life and my husband did not want to have sex all the time or even every day when we were first married…he still doesn’t but that didn’t mean that there was anything at all wrong with him or his sex drive. All I am trying to do is lower the alarm bells and give another possibility of what is going on here. I could be wrong, in fact every one of us could be completely wrong. There could be huge issues here but as you can see by all the comments those are covered so I just wanted to offer something else to think about that wasn’t quite so alarmist. None of us actually know what is going on here so I wanted to give the letter writer as many possible things to think about as possible.

        Reply
        • Arwen

          Gosh! Thank you Melissa. I’m reading the comments with a confused face trying to figure out what red flags these women are seeing. Because i don’t see any red flags AT ALL. Sheesh! This poor guy is being dragged through the mud based on whatever personal issues these women are going through it seems. To many personal projections put on this lady’s husband.

          Reply
    • Sharlizma

      I agree with Melissa on this. The writer mentioned her husband remarked about her purity culture upbringing. I can see where this could cause misaligned expectations for them both. It doesn’t sound like he comes from that culture of suppression. Maybe he’s looking for his wife to initiate intimacy, express herself while they’re being intimate, explore his body, allow them to look at each other naked etc… none of these things are red flag behaviors but they may be difficult for someone who comes from purity culture. Him comparing her to other women is wrong, but he may have just meant their confidence.

      I have a few family members that are ultra conservative and the women’s 1st marriages (3 cousins) ended in divorce because they couldn’t shake the purity stuff and allow their husbands to “know them”.

      I do think they both need help in the communication department. He may not be doing a great job of expressing his needs and she may not be expressing what may be causing her trepidation.

      Reply
    • Scott

      (I originally typed this as its own response, but then saw that Melissa had typed a lot of similar stuff, so I’m replying to her. Basically I agree with her and give the man’s perspective on this.)

      First, let me say that porn/masturbation is a likely culprit behind this attitude. Beyond that, possibly things like low testosterone or some other hormonal imbalance. Maybe depression?

      But if none of those are the culprit, let me offer a possible alternative explanation.

      Knowing that these two are newly married and likely young, they are probably still learning how to communicate, and a lot of misfiring is going on. What if the writer’s interpretation of what her husband told her isn’t at all what he meant?

      One possible example that is admittedly close to my heart: One of the things I find sexy in the bedroom is enthusiasm. However, my wife is very low libido, anorgasmic, has a responsive drive, and is often not even sexually attracted to me. Thus, I almost never see enthusiasm, and she sometimes used to just lay there and offer herself (at least that was my perception), which made me feel like a monster. We worked on communicating about this and she was able to convey that she does enjoy it, just in a different way than I do. Things have been better since then now that I know what to look for. That is, until last night, where she literally gave no participation despite all my loving words and gentleness to her during the act. I chose to bring it up today, and despite all my efforts to be soft/kind about it, she clearly took it poorly, and we’ve had 12 yr of married communication on sex!

      So what I really wonder is if this guy is wanting more enthusiasm from his wife, not just uninvolved missionary or starfish with no signs of enjoyment or loving words. I’m sure that what my wife heard this morning was “last night wasn’t good enough” when she thought she was doing a kindness! It’s just so hard to communicate these things properly without hurt feelings.

      Then again, I’m still thinking it’s a porn problem…

      -Scott

      Reply
      • Lindsey

        I am sorry that you’ve struggled with this experience, Scott. I am still wondering why an unenthusiastic wife would want sex daily, as the writer indicated that she did.

        I definitely understand why someone would want to pull back, try to see it from his perspective, or try to find other solutions that seemed less dire. However, he didn’t tell her “ I want you to want me”, he didn’t say “I enjoy it more with a long time between”, he said “other women walk into a room and all the guys want them, why can’t you be like that?”. This is not a communication issue. This is not a difference of sex drives. This is a man comparing his wife to others as an excuse for not desiring her sexually. He’s putting his lack of desire off onto his bride of only 6 months. This couple needs therapy and this woman needs to brace herself for the worst. If it turns out that it wasn’t that bad, no harm done, but at least she won’t be blindsided by betrayal that he is already conditioning her to accept as her own fault.

        As an aside, this isn’t an issue in my marriage. My husband has always told me he loved me and was attracted to me. He has never tried to say that any struggle with lust was my fault. I just read what she said and asked myself “What is the most likely answer?”

        Reply
        • Chris

          I agree with Scott. Its a communication style issue. There could be a porn/sex addict problem sure. But being a guy and knowing how to read between the guy lines, i think that to her, wanting sex all the time means you lie there and let hubby go at it starfish style. This also matches up with the purity culture upbringing. I genuinely believe that he started to get tired of that. Sheila, how many times have you written about getting beyond obligation sex? She may feel that she is up for sex with hubby, but if there is no enthusiasm, then to us men its just obligation sex. Let’s rewrite her question: Not, how can i be sexier? But how can i be enthusiastic? He doesn’t feel that she is enthusiastic about him in general and sex in particular.
          I find it sad that it appears from the comments that men are bad. The comments either embrace the worlds view of male sexuality…..I.E. that we are horn dogs who want and need sex all the time or that we are defective, or they embrace the christian female view…..THEYRE ALL ON THE PORN!!!!! We men just can’t win with yall can we?

          Reply
          • Blessed Wife

            What on Earth would make you conclude that “to her, wanting to have sex all the time means lying there like a starfish and letting hubby go at it”?! I was a virgin bride, and never, not once, have I had (much less inititiated) sex in the starfish position. I can’t see how such a position would even be tenable if she was feeling anything during sex at all! Frankly, I find that assumption both unreasonable and insulting.

            Based on his words, her husband clearly has his ideal of sexy based on something or someone other than her, and porn is just one of the likely suspects. I wonder if, due to his purity culture background, he considered her “worthy” of marriage because she eschewed sexuality, but desired other women whom he did not pursue because they were “worldly” or “promiscuous”. So her desire to have sex often makes her seem “trashy”, to use my mother’s favorite word, but her lack of practice at seduction makes her “not sexy enough”.

            Also, my experience with men is that they are usually delighted with whatever a woman brings to the table, if it’s presented nicely and offered with a smile. His behavior is odd, and I don’t think it has anything to do with her!

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Yes, your last paragraph is exactly what my husband and son-in-law and I were all talking about. This definitely is odd.

            As for the other, it’s similar to what I said about Josh Duggar in the Ashley Madison scandal. So often boys raised in this culture do split off sexually, because they can’t reconcile what sex is supposed to be. It’s very sad.

  16. Nathan

    Melissa, you’re correct that we would really need to hear both sides, because otherwise we’re just guessing based on our own experiences and views.

    My first reaction was that he expects that “sexy” is a very specific thing, whether from exposure TV, movies, porn, or maybe another woman that he desires.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I think this is true, but that’s also why I think it’s best to give as many possible scenarios in an answer, too. She’s not the only one having this problem, so even if we solved her issue, there will be others dealing with something similar. So if we give help whether it’s X or Y I think that’s great!

      Reply
  17. Nathan

    And on the lighter side, Sheila, I can totally empathize with your situation! When I wash dishes, I put sharp things in pointy side DOWN. My mother in law helps out sometimes, and puts sharp things in pointy side UP. I found that out the hard way once! No ER trip, just a bit of stinging, but I always look twice now when emptying it out.

    Reply
    • Clairetta

      Nathan, I had a glass break, in the sudsy water, and didn’t see it until it cut into me. That was a trip to the ER.

      Reply
  18. Allison Thompson

    Praying for you, newlywed writer!

    I’m only in my ninth year of marriage myself, but I believe that your husband learning in this season how to love you and find you sexy (without comparing you to anyone else) will be a huge key to the level of satisfaction you experience in your marriage.

    I’ve been pregnant three times in the past nine years. I’ve been thin and chubby, and everything in between. But to be honest, I’ve always felt sexy. Didn’t look it always based on photos I’ve looked back on, but I felt it. I felt confident and amazing and that wasn’t because of what society would say or how I compared with other women.

    It’s how my husband speaks about me and to me that makes me feel so confident regardless of how I look on the outside.

    So I pray that you will continue to communicate with your husband and that he will learn not to compare you with anyone else. I believe God will show you both the truth if there are any hidden things causing this and that every area of your marriage will thrive!

    Reply
  19. Misty S

    Ok… I’m concerned as well about the possibility of porn use or homosexuality, but in hopes that that isn’t the case, I’m going to post some advise…

    The key to sexiness is usually confidence. A confident woman can rock just about any wardrobe and still seem sexy. Since the writer is coming from the purity culture what we would normally consider sexy… heavy make-up, provocative clothing or skimpy lingerie may make her uncomfortable and decidedly not confident. Insecurity wrapped in lingerie is not sexy. I would say she needs to read some of your recent posts on lingerie so she can find something that is sexy but she feels confident in. When you are comfortable and confident with yourself and what you are wearing your attitude and actions follow that. If you feel comfortable but sexy the husband will most likely (hopefully) see that.

    Reply
  20. Rebecca

    My husband and I were both virgins on our wedding night as well 🙂
    And I think I do have a higher libido, based on the fact that he turns me down more often than I turn him down 😅 My husband can actually get into a habit of just not initiating, or turning me down because he’s got a lot on his mind. If I don’t be direct and say “I really need this because I’m starting to feel unloved” nothing changes. It probably would eventually but I’ve never been able to wait long enough to find out!! 😅

    A few months in, I am guessing that they are probably communicating their needs poorly. I’ve been married 8 years and my husband and I still occasionally word things badly and cause hurt feelings or misunderstandings!

    She says “I thought I was giving him a wonderful gift” – this sounds a bit like she thinks sex is more for him than her, and she’s confused that he doesn’t seem to want what she’s offering. It sounds like he thinks her purity culture upbringing is an issue as well – so I am wondering if perhaps she isn’t very confident with not only her body, but his as well. I know for myself, it took me about 6 months before I could touch my husbands penis in more than just a very tentative, brief way. I had to work up slowly and gradually became for comfortable touching him. I also had trouble really looking at his naked body, and even still do sometimes! And this was inspite of the fact that I was very attracted to him, very comfortable being with him, showering together, etc, and was pretty comfortable with my own body. I am much more confident now and my husband often tells me that he finds that confidence sexy.

    The wife may feel like she is initiating, but she is probably still subconsciously expecting that he will do everything. I know that early on sex was more something that my husband did to me and I responded, (it was always good and I liked it), but I didn’t really do much. I was very responsive but it wasn’t an even give and take by and means. When I had our second child a couple of years ago we also went through a period of time when I really wanted intimacy and love-making, but didn’t have the energy (with breastfeeding several times during the night etc) to really take an active role. My husband was amazing during that time, but we did have occasions when he said he felt like he was putting in all the effort, and would turn me down because he didn’t have the energy for it. Now my daughter is 2.5 and sleeping through the night, our sex life has gone back to both of us taking a more active role.

    The couple we are talking about here probably need to work on doing a lot more communicating about sex, what they like, etc. and the husband may need to really make sure he’s building his wife up by complimenting her – not only what she might be wearing, etc, but telling her what he likes about her body. I know that most of my confidence in the bedroom has come about because of how my husband treats me, and looks at me. I’ve never considered myself particularly beautiful, but my husband makes me FEEL beautiful.
    The wife here probably needs to work on herself a bit too, but it takes practise! She may be indicating she wants to have sex without actually initiating it. Sometimes you need to put your regular self aside, and let the inner, passionate woman come to the fore 😉
    Start kissing/touching him. Start undressing him while telling him how much you love his body etc. Offer to give your husband a massage but then do it naked 😉 and make it very unprofessional lol. If you think about sex in your head, is it more focussed on him touching you, or you touching him? Switch it around, visualise what you would like to do to him, and then have a go in real life.

    Like others have said, porn and/or masturbation could be a factor. But I really think that inexperience, poor communication, and lack of confidence in the bedroom would still be a factor even if porn was in the mix as well.

    Reply
  21. Rebecca

    Another thought, he may also be wanting his wife to be more flirty etc. Just thinking about his comment about “other girls”. I’ve never been a flirty person, whereas one of my sisters was always quite flirty with men. Some women are naturally like that, they like the attention – but I’ve never liked attracting attention to myself! I’ve learnt how to flirt with my husband over time – it’s mostly in the eyes, how you look at him. If you are not a naturally flirty person it’s pretty hard to learn to do it unfortunately!! But I can actually turn it on with my husband these days lol. It’s taken me 8 years though 😂 also giving birth to 2 babies with your husband watching kind of breaks down your inhibitions 😅

    On a practical note, try choosing clothes and lingerie that make you feel beautiful and confident – it’s ok to have some items of clothing that you might not normally wear in public, but that you just wear for your husband. It’s good to think about what he would like, but if you feel silly or self-conscious wearing it won’t help your confidence! If you feel good, and know that you look good, you will project that confidence. It’s little steps at a time though.

    Reply
    • Elissa

      I totally agree that it can be really hard to learn to flirt if you don’t do it naturally! When my husband told me he would find it sexy if I flirted with him I had to ask him exactly what he meant AND have him demonstrate for me, because I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing! At first I felt silly and self-conscious and forced, but with practice it has gotten easier and feels more natural. It is still something I have to do consciously, though. But, who knows? We’re only 4 years in, so if I keep up the practice I’m sure we’ll be quite the pros when we flirt together at 80!
      And while some might object to “changing yourself” for your spouse’s benefit, I think it’s worth it too see how the effort I put in really does make a difference and turns things up a notch for him. Plus he shows equal willingness to do things that don’t feel quite natural for my benefit.

      Reply
      • Rebecca

        I don’t think it’s so much about changing yourself, as learning a new skill!

        Reply
  22. Daniel

    I agree with everything you wrote. My first thought was; “hmm, if he’s not hiding a porn addiction, he almost certainly has a lust addiction.” And my second thought was: “this couple needs to read 31 days to good sex”

    As far as how to be sexy… beats me. My wife is sexy and beautiful, but it also isn’t natural for her to know how to ‘act sexy’ (kinda like the Jumanji 2 flirt teaching scene, lol). But that’s totally ok because, like I said, I find her very beautiful and sexy. It doesn’t matter if she can’t replicate the moves that hollywood’s stars pull off, she knows that I don’t need her to be like the women shown in movies and shows.

    I know that’s not exactly what you had in mind… but I hope it helps anyway.

    Reply
  23. AJ

    As most of the other commenters, this strikes me as super “off”.
    When my husband and I were married we were both virgins and I also had a purity culture background (my husband did as well, but a much more balanced and healthy version of it). I didn’t come to our marriage bed all sexy. In fact, on our wedding night I slept in a t-shirt and sweats because that was my current version of “scandalous” and I didn’t know what else to do — I know… Poor hubby! But it didn’t last long like that:)
    I came to our marriage with a desire to serve my husband, but also with lots of fears and inhibitions. I can assure you though that my current lack of “sexiness” was no deterrent to my sweet husband. He so tenderly assured me of his love and constant attraction and desire for me and the sexy wife he perceived me to be that he MADE me into a sexy wife.
    To a healthy virgin husband (minus porn addictions), a sexy wife is one who desires you and aims to please you — regardless of her dress or deportment. And I firmly believe in that definition, albeit self-made:)
    I’d like to tell this sweet young women that by this definition, she IS sexy!
    Coming from the purity culture and her husband telling her he feels she’s still suffering from that mentality could mean many things. On a super practical note, purity culture dress can completely either be baggy jeans dresses or just plain normal up-to-date modest with nothing wrong here at all. I would encourage her to evaluate the basic practical elements of attractive dress and how she compares to this. NO, it’s not all about looks and dress — I’ve already stated she doesn’t need this to be sexy. But it might help the way she is feeling about herself right now and give her reassurance that’s she’s doing “her part.”
    1. Discuss with her husband his ideas of modesty and how he would like to see her dressing and see if there’s a breakdown between them on this, or if it’s simply a deportment issue/twisted idea of how he thinks she should be acting. If his requests and ideas on this are reasonable and doesn’t go against her conscience, she should consider changing things up a bit.
    2. Maybe start with underclothes — make sure things are attractive. Again, there’s no need to spring for “super sexy,” but try for something fun that stretches you a little, but you’re still comfortable in.
    3. Evaluate her wardrobe and see if it’s attractive and fairly up-to-date.
    4. Evaluate hairstyle and see if a new hairstyle would positively change her look.
    (I know Sheila has an excellent Fight The Frump series.)
    5. Consider a few differing ways to change things up/pursue in the bedroom (maybe tell him you would like to “ride him”, or something more proactively sexy like that, when you’re having sex use more vocalizations, etc.)
    If she tries these things (or is already doing them) and none of it appears to be helping and he’s still telling her she “isn’t sexy enough” and it’s her issue rather than his, it’s seriously time for her to consider that there’s a larger issue at play here and she should definitely not be doubting or placing blame on herself.

    Reply
  24. LM

    Like this gal, I also grew up very conservatively in the purity movement, and while hubby did too, he was more balanced. I made sure we had sex every night for the first several months as I wanted to keep him satisfied so he wouldn’t stray (thanks to standard Christian marriage advice). He was reluctant more than once, and to tell the truth, it didn’t even feel good for me! Towards the end of that time, we both realized that sex felt so much better if we spaced it a few days, and allowed the desire to build. My hubby also had to teach me what sexy was, and he still is (we’ve been married for almost 6 years) …but it’s always in fun and not demands. Like at the beginning, I would lie there silently during sex, and he was finally like ‘you can make noise!’ 😛 According to my family’s standards, I always wore baggy old pjs (on our honeymoon too!) and floor-length jean skirts, but realized after a few years of marriage that jeans and shorter shorts were perfectly fine with hubby, so I’ve made the switch. I feel super frumpy whenever I put on a skirt now, lol! I knew many family friends whose wife was the rule-keeper of the family, whereas the husband would have been fine with more relaxed rules. I always knew I didn’t want to be that kind of wife! All that to say, I’m still learning how to be sexy and what hubby likes, and I’ve had to make an effort to not stick to rules my family had if hubby could care less. ;-P (Yes, that’s been hard at times since I was always the good girl rule-follower of my siblings!)

    Reply
    • LM

      And like the question-asker, my hubby is amazing with romance and is definitely the giver in our relationship, but I have the higher libido now… which is fine with both of us. <3

      Reply
  25. Natalie

    I’ve scrolled through r/sex on Reddit enough to know that 1) porn is a HUGE problem and my bets would be that porn or lust/comparing is this husband’s primary issue, and 2) men find sexually confident women to be highly sexy and erotic. This husband is tactlessly saying he wants his wife to be more sexually confident and enthusiastic. How does she become that? By exploring and discovering and learning about her own sexuality. Growing up in the purity culture (as I did too), no doubt her sexuality was beaten out of her long enough. Now that she’s married, this is her time to discover it and define it and be happy and celebrate that aspect of her with her husband. But she shouldn’t do that to please him. She should do that to understand herself better and her marriage better, and ultimately grow closer to God through that experience too, since it was He who created sex to be good in the beginning.

    And the husband should be encouraging her along the way, not comparing her to other women!!! That’s terrible!!! They need to seriously discuss this and be open about their expectations.

    Reply
    • Arwen

      LOOOL! Natalie, sometimes your comments crack me up! You troll on reddit too? Troll as in read comments. I do them same. I’ll type in a topic and read comments for what seems like days. By the way i just recently found out one of the founders of reddit is actually the husband of Serena Williams. Who by the way beat Sharapova for the millionth time yesterdays match. Love it! Anyways, i enjoy reading your comments. You make me laugh. 😀

      Reply
      • Natalie

        I knew of reddit previously (obviously lol), but didn’t really start reading or using it till right around when I found TLHV too, due to typing my sex questions into google & reading the first several things that popped up. The r/sex subreddit wasn’t really my scene (I mean, I don’t think you can get any more worldly advice than what’s on that page lol), but I love r/keto and similar pages which I frequent occasionally trying to get ideas on what to cook and how to help my husband who’s trying to lose weight. But I far prefer Sheila’s content and blog… and no, I’m not trying to brown nose here 😉😝 haha

        Reply
  26. Elizabeth

    I have been this wife. I was not raised in the purity culture per se, but I was still a virgin when we married. He was not, but he confessed that to me in tears while we were dating. Shortly after we married, I noticed that we didn’t have a real connection. Apparently my husband noticed too. The culprit in his eyes? Our sex life. I explained to him that I needed to feel close to him in order to want sex. He told me that I was making that up. He never was able to express to me just what was wrong with our sex life (and still hasn’t been able to, 25 years later). At one point he heard about the book For Women Only on FOTF and came home and said, “THIS IS WHAT’S WRONG WITH OUR MARRIAGE.” Of course I had listened to the broadcast and knew exactly what he was talking about: sex. All he has been able to express is that he wants me to “love him like I mean it.” I’m supposed to not only have sex with him, I’m supposed to WANT to have sex with him. And if I don’t for some reason? That’s the problem…I’m “not loving him like I mean it.” I also quickly learned that saying no for whatever reason was unacceptable. He let me know that whenever I told him no or that I wasn’t in the mood, it was like I was stabbing him in the chest. “I feel a physical pain in my chest.”

    25 years later and I have never been good enough in the bedroom for him. Finally I realize that the problem is HIM, not me. I have tried EVERYTHING to improve our relationship, both in the bedroom and out. It has never been enough.

    So when I read about this dear girl, I have flashbacks of being told that essentially I’m not “enough.” The problem is most definitely NOT HER. It’s him.

    Reply
  27. Jordan

    To this woman, be yourself. Be free. That is how to be sexier.

    To the man, take this from experience: trying to control your wife’s sexuality, dress, or compare her to other woman is surefire way to pour an concrete truck of ice water onto your wife’s “sexiness.” Be honest and communicate about what you like and don’t like. But don’t ever compare. And be few yourself! God made this for us to enjoy! Lighten up a little and have some fun with your bride. If you too grew up in the purity culture (I did) I can understand the guilt and shame around sex. But it really is a beautiful thing.

    God bless you two!

    Reply
  28. Nicole

    Red flag #1, she says that he would rather do anything BUT have sex and she wants to make love all the time.They were both virgins and are still newlyweds, so I don’t see this as normal on his part. Obviously, there are many women who have higher sex drives then their husbands but the fact that she perceives he would rather do anything else is a BIG problem. It’s simply not normal to go into marriage as a virgin male and then not want to have sex basically ever (again according to the reader’s POV).

    Red flag #2. She feels rejected because he doesn’t want to have sex. Feeling rejected by your spouse is not a good start to a marriage. Consistent rejection will lead to loss of closeness and intimacy.

    Red flag #3. He tells her that he wants her to be more sexy but is rather vague and ends up comparing her to other women, insinuating that the way she is isn’t good enough. How would he feel if the situation were reversed, and she compared him to other men who were behaving/acting a certain way that he’s not?

    In all fairness, let’s assume he’s being honest that there is no past/current porn use or struggles with lust in general. The way that he told her she should be more sexy implies that she’s not good enough. It’s great that she’s willing to try to please her husband but from the sounds of it, she’s initiating sex and he’s rejecting her because she’s not acting/behaving a certain way. I find it hard to believe that this woman is initiating sex and then being a total starfish in bed! Maybe she’s just feeling shy, insecure, or she struggles with shame and sex due to purity culture, and that’s where his job comes in to reassure her and boost her confidence and for them together to go through what the Bible says about married sex and go through your book! 😉

    It could be that she’s in ratty clothes or has bad hygiene and he’s trying to tell her that in a roundabout way so he doesn’t hurt her feelings?
    Honestly, I would sit down with him at a time when there are no interruptions and ask him again to be direct. Ask him what it is that he would like to see changed, and how one might go about that. Obviously she can’t be or act sexy if she has no idea what that means or looks like specifically to him. Men aren’t always the same with their preferences so it’s nearly impossible to figure out exactly what he wants. He needs to be direct without comparing her to an abstract female in his head and without consistently rejecting her advances.
    She may be the higher drive spouse and they will need to both learn how to work with that. It’s also possible he could have low testosterone and/or he has preconceived notions from purity culture as well that aren’t healthy. I hope they can work through this together and have an awesome marriage!

    Reply
  29. Doug

    I read the letter, and for the most part tried to ignore a lot of the “conclusions” that some were reaching. From the letter alone, all I could decide with certainty was that there were a lot questions left unasked and therefore unanswered. The lady writing it said she wanted sex all the time and he would rather do anything else. I don’t have any idea what all the time really means, but I have read the same thing when the roles were reversed and nobody says that she must be looking at porn(I’m not ruling that out, just stating it isn’t a given). There could be many reasons for a difference in libido, and most have nothing to do with porn. The obvious question that came to my mind was simply a “performance” issue. It only takes one or two failures in that area to really give a man doubts, and all the reason he needs to make excuses. It could also explain his admittedly poor way of requesting that she try to be sexier, thinking that might help resolve the problem.

    The bottom line is that while porn might be a problem, it could also be libido, energy level, self confidence, past abuse, and any number of other possibilities. It could also just boil down to lack of communication and poorly expressed expectations. Being turned down for sex is no fun. Being told you aren’t sexy enough is also hurtful. Still, there is a lot to consider before making recommendations of any type without first starting with communications. I know that “all the time” and “anything else” don’t do much besides paint a picture that the two are not seeing eye to eye.

    Reply
  30. ThePhilZone

    I will try to give this husband the benefit of the doubt on this one regarding porn. Not all men enjoy porn or have debilitating lust issues. Innocent until proven guilty I guess. Here is another possible angle that would at least help. I see this guy as super immature with no concept of true intimacy with his wife and she sounds starved for it. If I’ve learned anything here, it’s that real intimacy is physical, spiritual and emotional. I truly thank Sheila for my awakening. Tackle the spiritual and emotional and the physical takes care of itself I believe. If a man has a great relationship with God and God is part of the marriage, he will see things differently. If a man has a strong, unrelentless emotional desire for and bond with his wife, nothing will stop him from achieving oneness in his marriage. The physical will be his way of expressing love and receiving love from his wife. Silly things like positions, attire, body parts or even having a bad day will be just that, silly. Connecting and learning to connect will be the priority. Hopefully this will be learned with time. Women seem to have an innate knowledge of these things, men generally don’t. My advice would be to literally write him a letter expressing your feelings and desires and how you want your marriage to play out going forward, together, tell him to go read it privately and see how he responds. I use this tactic all the time. Good Luck!

    Reply
    • Lindsey

      This is beautiful advice!

      Reply
  31. Mel

    I’m of the less worried opinion, agreeing a lot with Melissa, Sharlizma, and Misty S. My husband and I were both virgins, and I was the one who was shocked to learn in Week 2 that we wouldn’t be having sex everyday! 🙂 Thoughts:
    1. Maybe this couple would enjoy reading Kevin Lehman’s books “Sheet Music” or “Sex Begins in the kitchen.” Both of these were helpful for us as newlyweds. We read them separately and discussed points of interest. They were helpful with:
    2. Expectations about frequency. Our premarital counseling didn’t prepare either of us to ask “Honey, how often would your body do well having sex?” Because for my husband, it’s 2-3 days (very normal) and I would love 1-2 days. Once he helped me understand his body, we found our “Normal” – but it took asking point blank questions!
    2. Initiating. When you’re both virgins, it takes a lot of practice to figure out how to let the other know you do or don’t want to have sex. Sheila and J at HHH were both helpful resources for me! A loose “schedule” for sex can help, which Sheila has written about. For us, 7 years in, that means we generally take turns initiating sex with in 2-3 window. That way we both feel pursued, and know sex is going to happen in a timely manner.
    3. Deterrents to “sexy” and what derails initiation. For me, if my brain is in “Mommy Mode,” sex ain’t gonna feel good, and I’m going to try to not have it. We’ve found that it helps me transition to “Wife Mode” in the evenings if I shower after the kids are down. Also, talking about the kids or kid stuff puts my mind back into Mommy Mode – so we try not to bring up parenting stuff in the 30 min before bed. It just helps me get my mind in the game. SO I’m wondering if this new husband has similar struggles – things that just aren’t sexy, whether it’s laundry, or in-law’s, or whatever. Identifying those help a lot!

    Reply
  32. E

    I’m the wife who wrote that question. We have now been married for a little over a year, and I wanted to let you know how we’re doing! (Spoiler alert…we’re doing GREAT!!)

    What we did:
    1. Talked to a godly couple in our church who have been married 40+ years
    2. Read “31 Days to Great Sex”
    3. Talked and shared our feelings. A lot.
    4. Prayed together. A LOT.

    What we learned:
    1. My husband was seriously struggling with feeling like sex was “okay” all of the sudden now that he was a married man. He had been so careful to be pure that making a switch from “no” to “yes” was hard!
    2. I was trying way too hard to seduce my husband by being what I THOUGHT “men wanted.” This was freaking out my husband because I reminded him of all the bad women he’d always been told to run away from.

    The result:
    Once I relaxed and actually started just being MYSELF…my husband couldn’t stop kissing me. Who knew that my playful, teasing, silly self was actually sexy?? And the fact that we were praying together that God would release his heart to the holiness and joy of sexual unity between married people being VERY GOOD, well, there was just no stopping our love from blossoming after that! 😀

    I so appreciate everyone who wrote to help me, but it did pain my heart that so many immediately assumed that something dark and deviant was going on in my husband’s heart. We were just two purity culture kids who had been given NO information by our parents and had spent a lifetime averting our eyes. We didn’t know what to do with this whole sexuality thing once we got married. We just needed time to talk and get comfortable. Please don’t be so quick to label someone as evil. 🙁

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      YAY! I’m so glad that you’re doing well! That’s awesome.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story and the follow-up! I’m excited that things are going so well, and grateful that you were able to talk things through and get a mentor.

      It’s definitely difficult to give thoughts when you don’t know the whole picture, and I’m so glad that in your case it wasn’t porn. I do think, though, that in many cases of people having similar problems it IS porn, and that’s why people often assume that. It’s like what my husband says about medical diagnoses: If you hear hoofs, assume horses, not zebras. You tend to assume it’s the most common thing. And it’s not personal. Please don’t think that! But porn is the most common cause of what you’re saying, which is why I’m so glad that in this case it was zebras, not horses. That makes my heart happy, especially when I’ve had a difficult day with a ton of other sad emails (mostly about porn again).

      So glad you’re doing well!

      Reply
  33. Kevin

    I am not sure he is comparing her to other women. Most men know what they find sexy. He has seen this image somewhere but can’t really describe in the right way. I don’t know what he means by act and carry themselves in a sexy way. Most likely it is confidence. Is she asking for sex in a timid way because of the purity movement? She should be confident in her request and give him lead time. Early in the morning she say something like “ Tonight I’m making dinner and wearing that really short dress you like and we are having great sex later tonight”. Now he has the day to visualize her. Then she can confidently fulfill that statement. She does not need to draw attention to it or say anything. He has been doing that all day. She just needs to walk in the room owning it. She carries on a normal conversation. She should not be shy about letting him see her and talk to him without a lot eye contact. Save that for over diner. By the time dinner is over he is ready. She was confident in her request, she was confident in her look and confident about what comes next.
    He might be a slow cooker guy and need time to think about it. If she is asking last minute that might be why he is uncomfortable. He needs time to get in the right headspace.

    Reply
  34. Emy

    I never comment, but I feel I must on this one because this girl sounds like me. As a newlywed, I was always the one asking for sex, my husband didn’t seem interested, a couple years went by, my pain and frustration grew, we had a baby, and when she was 2 months old, I could take it no more and heard the words coming from my mouth before I really even weighed them, “Are you using porn or something?” I never dreamed he would actually say yes. I was obviously crushed, we went months of talking and trying to move on, dealing with relapses, etc., and one of the most hurtful things he ever said to me was, “I wish you would act sexier.” My husband and I have now been married for 5 1/2 years, and, long story short, things are good now, but she def needs to look into the porn thing. I NEVER would have dreamed my husband would do that to me either, but it happened.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m so sorry. That really is so heartbreaking, and it’s just awful that so many people are dealing with it. I’m glad you’ve moved on to the other side of it, but it’s still such a hard thing to deal with.

      Reply
  35. ringtonesdump.com

    I suggest you talk to your doctor and get his or her absolutely best advice on sex now and the timing of your recovery. Then sit down and talk to your husband, calmly and directly. No emotion, no hysterics, no guilt. Tell him what to expect based on what the docs have told you and ask him how he feels about it. Are you kinky? I’m going somewhere with this. Also, I presume there’s no reason you can’t perform world class oral sex, rimming and prostate massage in the interim?

    Reply

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