8 Questions to Ask if Your Husband Doesn’t Want Sex

by | Sep 18, 2020 | Libido, Uncategorized | 31 comments

Low Libido Husbands: 8 Questions for Wives to Ask

What do you do if your husband rarely wants to make love?

He can go forever without initiating, and you feel lonely and rejected?

We’ve been talking this week about what constitutes a healthy frequency of sex in marriage, and what to do if sex is far less frequent. I talked on Tuesday to low drive spouses, and on Wednesday I posed some questions to higher drive husbands.

Today I’d like to do the same to higher drive wives.

Again, I’m really only talking to wives who have sex less than once a week. If you’re still sexually frustrated, but you do have sex once a week or more, I’ve got another post coming up for you on Monday!

But what do you do if sex has become really rare–once a month, every few weeks, even only a few times a year?

I want to help you address the problem where the husband doesn’t want sex in a way that may actually move you forward.

And so I’m going to be asking what may be uncomfortable questions.

It could be that none of these applies to you, and if that’s the case, that’s great! More on that later. But whenever there’s a problem in marriage, it’s always good to ask the hard questions first, even of ourselves. So I’m going to ask the hard questions, in case relationship dynamics have caused his libido to plummet. And men not having sex is often related more to outside stress issues or medical issues than women not having sex is, but it’s still important to ask these questions. 

1. Is porn use a part of your husband’s present or past?

It’s awful to have to bring this up, but I’d be naive if I didn’t. The #1 cause for men losing their libido in marriage today is porn use. Porn trains the brain to become aroused to an image or a video rather than a person, and makes depersonalized sex sexy, rather than sex with a real, live, human being. One of the big effects of porn is men losing libido and sexual performance.

If your husband uses porn, you are not to blame. But you do need to confront the porn use, draw a firm line in the sand, and even get some help. Here are some posts that can point you in the right direction:

Now, just because your husband has a low libido does not mean that he uses porn. But the question does need to be asked.

Next, let’s turn to questions about your attitude towards your husband. The causes of men’s low libido often relate to sexual confidence, and confidence in general, much more than the causes for women’s low libido do. Men can be very wary of doing things that make them feel like failures, and if they feel like a failure, either inside or outside of the bedroom, that can affect sexual performance, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy where there’s a downward spiral in libido. 

2. Have you ever belittled your husband for his sexual performance?

If your husband’s penis is on the small side, and  you’ve been frustrated because sex doesn’t feel “full” for you, have you told him? Have you been angry because you want some long, drawn out lovemaking sessions, and he never lasts as long as you would like?

Do you want him to make you feel good, and perform oral sex like a pro, but he doesn’t quite do it right, and so you’re always correcting him?

Most men do need direction to know what makes their wives feel good, but a large part of a man’s ego is tied up in feeling as if he can be a good lover. I’m not saying you should fake anything or tell him you love sex when you don’t, but there is a difference between saying, “Let’s learn how to make this feel great together!” and saying, “You’re doing it wrong!”

Making him feel “less than”, especially by comparing him to any previous lovers or to what you may have read in magazines, is almost guaranteed to make him insecure. And if guys are insecure, that can start to affect sexual performance, and thus tank libido.

3. Have you ever belittled your husband for sexual dysfunction?

If your husband suffers from erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or delayed ejaculation, he does need to take responsibility for this and get some help.

Often, too, when younger men suffer from these issues, porn is involved.

However, “often” is not “always”. And if your husband has suffered from sexual dysfunction, and you have been critical or exasperated, then again, this is likely going to push him away from sex. Most of us don’t tend to like doing things if we’ll fail, and if he feels as if he’s failing you at the one thing which should make him feel like a man, he’ll run away from that as fast as he can.

Asking for your husband to seek help for dysfunction is perfectly reasonable and healthy (and even necessary). Being critical or mean about it is not. Even if you’re just expressing sexual frustration, that does matter, because if he feels as if he’s a disappointment sexually, it’s hard for him to want to keep trying.

4. Have you ever betrayed your husband’s trust?

We think of porn as a guy problem, but many women watch porn now, too. Many more read erotica, or watch mini-series after mini-series like Outlander, focusing on how “hot” and manly other men are. If you are effusive in your praise of other men, or if he sees you consistently watching and reading this type of material, while also failing to praise him for those things, he can feel like a failure as well.

And if you have had an emotional affair, or a physical affair, that can rock his sexual confidence as well.

5. Do you share the load for your family?

Another big cause for men’s low libido is stress. If he is working hard for the family, but money is tight, and you complain about this (or spend a ton, contributing to the problem), his stress level will inevitably rise. If you have significantly more downtime than he does, and he feels at the end of his rope, his libido will tank.

Do you each have roughly the same amount of free time? Are you relieving the amount of stress and work your husband has, or are you causing more?

6. Are you a safe place for your husband emotionally?

Can he tell you if he’s worried about something or struggling with something without you getting exasperated or frustrated with him? Do you listen when he needs to talk, or do you try to fix his problems and convince him why he’s wrong?

If he doesn’t feel safe coming to you with insecurities, then that can heighten insecurity, and cause him to withdraw from the bedroom as well.

7. Outside the bedroom, do you build your husband up, or do you tear him down?

When you’re talking with friends about your husband, do you usually make fun of him? Or do you praise him? When he’s talking in a group, do you frequently correct his version of events? Sometimes we don’t realize how badly we speak about our husbands in public.

8. Have you cared for your health and hygiene?

This one’s a difficult one to bring up, as I mentioned when I brought it up in my questions to higher libido husbands, too. Sex is meant to be more than physical–it’s emotional and spiritual, too. No one has to be a size 4, or still fit into her prom dress (or even her wedding dress) decades later to be considered attractive. And certainly society’s standards for women’s beauty are completely unrealistic (and porn has made that even worse).

But at the same time, just because we tend to gain weight with age and childbearing does not mean that it’s normal to gain substantial amounts of weight.

And sometimes, when we feel insecure, we give up caring for our appearance (which is why we may need to be challenged to fight the frump!). I know beauty and weight are landmine subjects to talk about, and I do believe that you can enjoy sex at any weight. But nevertheless, it is more difficult if you’re joined the morbidly obese category. Is this something that you need to work on to show love for your spouse–and yourself?

What if you see yourself in these questions and feel you’ve contributed to your husband’s low libido?

As I said to the men on Wednesday, I’ll repeat myself here to the women, with a few changes:

Take some time to pray through them and ask God to show you how you have hurt your husband. Allow yourself to feel the pain that he has felt–even if he has caused you pain, too. Focus on what you have done.

Then I’d suggest writing him a letter, because we can often think better if we write it all down.

List what you have done. Tell him how you think this must have made him feel. And apologize for each thing.

If you can remember specific instances when you did any of these things, name those instances. Say, “I remember our anniversary two years ago when you were in the middle of a huge job, and you couldn’t get away for the weekend, and we were short of money anyway, and I made you feel terrible about that instead of thanking you for working so hard. And I know that when Jenny and Jim were over last week, I made fun of how you tried to fix the kitchen sink and couldn’t. I know that I speak really badly about you far too much, and I haven’t appreciated you for what you have done, and I’m sorry.”

Ask him to forgive you. Tell him that you know that it may take him a while to trust you again. But tell him that you want to build your friendship and your emotional connection and you want him to feel appreciated, valued, and admired.

What if you don’t think you’ve pushed your husband away?

If you go through these questions, and they honestly don’t apply? (if only the question about porn applies, please follow the links I have in that section).

In some ways, that’s awesome. It means that you likely don’t have things you need to repair.

In other ways, it’s tough. If you did something to contribute to the problem, then you can also do something to contribute to solving it. But if this really wasn’t you, then you’re in a tough spot.

Make sure that there aren’t other issues going on, such as your husband suffering from any other medical issues, like low testosterone, diabetes, depression, or anything like that. Getting seen by a doctor is often very important for men with no libido. Make sure there aren’t major stressors in his life that are wearing on him, and if there are, make plans to help him with those. Often men’s low libido is caused by these issues more than women’s low libido is, and these things should be addressed.

But then say to your husband, “I know we were meant for more. I want us to experience real passion and intimacy, but you are continually pushing me away. That makes me not just sad. It makes me rejected, lonely, and in despair. I don’t want to live in a marriage like this, and I believe that we have to do something about it. We’re missing out on so much. I know sex doesn’t matter much to you, but I’d like to figure out how to show you what all the fuss is about. Can we please try?”

And if that doesn’t work, if it really is that he simply doesn’t like sex and doesn’t prioritize sex, or if he refuses to work on medical issues or stress issues, then I’d advise talking to a licensed counselor. If he won’t go, go by yourself. A counselor can often help you see what’s really going on, and make a plan for how to address it.

Was there a question I missed? Did one resonate with you? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of 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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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. Chris

    Oh, #7. Yes! You would not believe how many times I have witnessed this happen to men in public. Had it happen to me too, but the absolute worse one I ever saw was between a husband and wife that I didn’t know well at all. Felt so bad for him.

  2. Nathan

    Same here, Chris. My mother in law does this to my father in law on a daily basis.

  3. Bob

    The big ones are #6, #7 and #11: Are you pressuring your husband to earn money for your desired lifestyle?

  4. Doug

    This is probably minor, but I think it is worth mentioning. It pertains to both 1 and 2.
    You may say something that is totally innocent in your own mind, often jokingly, and it can still sting. It really hasn’t happened much lately, but from time to time in the past, I might lose my erection, and my wife would say something like “hey, where’d it go”. I know she meant absolutely nothing negative by it, but it would still make me immediately self conscious. Even tho I didn’t take it personally, it certainly made bouncing back more difficult. Honestly, now that I am dealing with ongoing ED, if she said it now, it would have a much greater impact.
    I will also mention that an offense in the #7 category doesn’t have to be a deliberate jab to come across much harsher than intended. Every now an then my wife will see something that is clearly beyond our budget, and say something to the effect that I should ask for a raise. I know it isn’t really a complaint that I don’t do a good enough job as a provider, but every time it has happened, and it has been often enough that I notice, I shrink a little bit inside. It is not a major issue, and I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes it really does sting.

    • Anon

      I can relate to no 7. When my wife wants to live over our budget which she has done so many times it makes me feel less of a man. Like I am not good enough for her
      And she should be with someone who has more money. Her ex was rich which doesn’t make it better.
      She says it’s not like that but it’s still difficult to not take it personally

  5. Jane Eyre

    Lots of thoughts here:
    There was a study out about how men rated the attractiveness of women and how women rated men. Women said that something like 80% of men were below average.
    That plays out in real life. My husband is tall, broad, and attractive (in a normal-person way, not a movie-star way). It surprised me – and hurt because what hurts him hurts me – that he had never really had anyone say nice things about his looks. Definitely a reminder to compliment him more (err… need to do that).
    Your list is a reminder (grim) that little hurts pile up.
    Good grief people need to stop saying bad things about their spouse, family, and friends in public. If you actually want a relationship with that person, it’s a terrible way to behave. (In retrospect, the big clue that I would never have a respectful relationship with my family of origin is their constant need to belittle me in public.)
    If you have an actual problem, find one trusted friend, a therapist, or an anonymous internet board.
    Anniversary exhaustion: one piece of advice I have for newly engaged couples is to pick a wedding date that is at a slow time of year for their industries. Obviously, careers change and things happen; however, if your industry has a discernable work cycle, get married at a slow time. An aspiring academic shouldn’t get married in early May when grades are usually due. A tax attorney should avoid February, March, April, and maybe early October. Even if you can pull off the wedding one year because your employer gives you latitude, your anniversary will be a hot mess every other year.

    • Doug

      “Anniversary exhaustion: one piece of advice I have for newly engaged couples is to pick a wedding date that is at a slow time of year for their industries. Obviously, careers change and things happen; however, if your industry has a discernable work cycle, get married at a slow time. An aspiring academic shouldn’t get married in early May when grades are usually due. A tax attorney should avoid February, March, April, and maybe early October. Even if you can pull off the wedding one year because your employer gives you latitude, your anniversary will be a hot mess every other year.”
      That is a really great observation. It would have come in handy about 38 years ago.
      Actually, as good as it is, it probably wouldn’t have made any difference. We had just gotten engaged and started making concrete plans, and I came down on orders for a year in Turkey. We were left with the option of moving plans up significantly, or postponing for well over a year. We decided to get married much sooner so we could spend some time together before the separation, and didn’t consider the long term impact of the date.

    • Arwen

      Jane, women might not find 80% of men attractive but they will still marry them in the end, unlike men. Men will not touch a woman they don’t find attractive even if the human race depended on it. Most women don’t compliment men for the simple fact that they don’t want to give a false impression to the man. Men take the simplest thing women do as a flirtation. I’m sure there were women who found your husband attractive but kept quiet because they didn’t want a simple compliment to be take the wrong way.
      Men are far more harsh and cruel when it comes to women’s looks. Things like trophy-wife exist but not trophy-husband, things like Bible-Barbie exist but not Bible-Ken, how many times have you heard people say “how did he get her” but never, “how did she get him.” Men can look like a sack of potatoes and still feel entitled to a Victoria’s Secret model. They started the rating system of rating women’s beauty on a scale of 1-10. Men never go after their equals when it comes to looks they’re always punching above their weight. They want the hottest woman they can show off to other guys, “look what i get to screw and you don’t” type of mentality.
      You would think it would be better in the Church but nope! The same shallow men in the world also exist in the Church. Boundless.org is a Christian website where it’s main target is on singles in the Church. They have written so many articles responding to Christian men who say they are “this” close to marrying secular women because they don’t find any of the Christian women at their Churches “hot, sexy, etc.” You can imagine how much porn has exasperated this issue. Now women have to resemble men’s favorite porn stars too!
      Many women long for love and marriage but men purposefully make themselves blind and deaf to how badly women want love and marriage and only pay attention to…you got it…the top 20% of women. I haven’t even mentioned the study that says there are more disabled men who are married/partnered up than there are disabled women. Or when a wife becomes sick the chances of her husband divorcing her is 80% while it’s 20% if the husband becomes sick. Husbands are also more likely to abandon a home if they have a disabled child. My neighbor works with cancer patients and told me among the female patients at her large well known hospital at least 60% of them have been divorced or are going through a divorce!
      Men who are widowed are far more likely to re-marry than women who are widowed (they often marry, younger and hotter females too). Even in Scripture the word widow was often times synonymous with women not men. According to an OKCupid study, the top 1/3 of women got 2/3rds of all male messaging on the platform. 5x more messages as well. I write all of this to show that what men claim with their mouth is only to be believed by their actions. Sure men don’t discriminate when it comes to screwing women (after all they will have sex with anyone) but they do discriminate a whole lot when it comes to whom they will marry.
      Women on the other hand might not find 80% of men physically attractive but if he has other qualities to balance it out she will give him a chance and eventually marry him. But a man will never give a woman who’s unattractive a chance. Men are never told to look beyond her physical appearance and get to know her character. Nope! It’s she doesn’t give men an erection so on to the next hottie. Even in the Church women are bombarded on how to be physically attractive to men: be skinny, wear makeup, do your hair, wear this wear that, speak like this behave like that, etc. Can’t remember the last time Christian men were lectured like this. That is the harsh truth unfortunately. However the truth will set you free in the end.
      Other than that i agree withe everything else you wrote. 🙂

      • Matilda

        Wow! Arwen, this is SO true!! All of it. I despair.

        • Elsie

          I totally hear you, Arwen and I also felt this way for a long time. I’m not attractive by conventional beauty standards and for a long time men never seemed to take an interest in me no matter how hard I tried to meet people. There are a lot of unfair standards placed on women and the church hasn’t done a good job of being counter cultural and Christ-centered on this issue.
          At the same time, I want to encourage you that there are good men out there that care about a woman’s character more than whether she looks like a supermodel. I’ve been married now for several years to a wonderful man and I had completely lost hope that I would ever get married at all.
          I know not everyone gets the happy ending they hope for but wanted to share my perspective that change is always possible through the Holy Spirit. While we mourn our current state, we still pray and hope for the church to be transformed. Not trying at all to minimize what you feel but hoping I can encourage you because I often need this kind of encouragement myself when I look at the sexism and disparities between men and women in our church and society

          • Arwen

            Elsie, Oh, i most defiantly agree there are millions of wonderful men out there. I’m surrounded by them. I praise God for these men. But at the same time we must not forget the voices of those on the other end of the spectrum who are just as heartbroken by the disparity, a disparity that is growing by the way. I mean there are more single women today than any time in human history. I’m not trying to be a Debby Downer. Our world is getting ugly and people are become “lovers of themselves” at an alarming rate. I though my generation the Millennials were bad but i weep for the Gen Z’s!
            Thank you for your encouragement though. But i’m a very pragmatic realist person. We have heaven to look forward to. Oh, gosh, i sounds sad, but i promise i’m not sad just telling it as it is. lol!

      • Andrea

        I had a friend in psychology who replicated some of those old studies that show women are just as visual as men are. People would always challenge him on this, of course — “Oh, come on, look at the couples around you, look at the kind of men women marry, of course they’re less visual!” — and he would reply, “Nope, sorry, data clearly shows women are just as visual as men are; however, they are a lot more forgiving.”

        • Arwen

          Bingo Andrea. That’s the key word “forgiving.” Women are far more willing to look over faults than men are. On average a wife will take back a cheating husband multiple times but on average you cheat on a husband one time and he packs up his stuff and hits the road Jack! lol! That’s is in some cases if he doesn’t kill you first. I always say no wonder God didn’t rest until after he created women.

      • Jane Eyre

        Hi Arwen,
        Women can be absolutely hideous to each other about their looks. It’s terrible in its own right and then gives men the impression that it’s okay to do to us.
        Men fall into two distinct camps: the “she must be young, hot, slim, and hot and young,” and “she’s pretty because women are pretty!”
        I know plenty of women who are not conventionally attractive who are married, mostly because they married men who are not picky about women’s looks. Maybe they are into hair and she has great hair – and they don’t care that she’s 30 pounds overweight. Maybe she’s not pretty but has a great body or vice versa. Maybe he loves her bright skin.
        The men who demand young hot things are usually single or divorced (because, hint, she will age and her body will change). Some of them get married. Most of them radically overestimate their own appeal.
        See, if 20% of women get attention from nearly 100% of men, there are going to be a surplus of men. The sensible ones get over themselves and start to enjoy how most women have very pretty features; the not-sensible ones end up single.

      • Boone

        Arwen, I’m from a small town and I’m the exception. Normally the kids that grew up here don’t come back if they go off to school. I got a law degree and decided to come back here and work. I was also partners with my Dad in the family farm. I was not only the guy that came home. I was the guy that came home and had great prospects of making a great living.
        Right after I passed the bar and got back the older lawyer that I was working with had the local weekly newspaper run a story with my picture stating that I was back and working with him. It was meant to get us business but instead I got swarmed by every single or divorced woman in town from 18 to 30. I also swarmed by their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and best friends trying to set me up. They hit me at church, at the ball park, at work and even at the grocery store. I was invited to dinners, to dances, to hay rides and to concerts. I finally started going out with a girl that had not approached me or had anybody else approach me. I had known her for years and I liked her. She dumped me because I went fly fishing in Montana and didn’t go to church while I was there. She said I wasn’t spiritual enough.
        I met my wife when her car broke down. She was from another state and didn’t know me from a hole in the ground. She had moved to the county seat and taken a job in administration at the local hospital. She didn’t care what I did for a living. She wasn’t after a meal ticket.
        The whole mess was most uncomfortable and made me seriously question the wisdom of my decision to return home. I’ve said all of this to say that women can sure act as hunters and target a specific species of game when they need to.

  6. Martha

    I wonder how many couples have roughly the same libido and initiate more or less 50/50..? Do you have any research results or comments about that?

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes! In our survey of 20,000 women, roughly 20% of couples would fall into that category. We talk about them a lot in The Great Sex Rescue, and what differentiates them from other couples. (I wish the book was available now, but we’ll have to wait until March!)

  7. Angela Laverdi

    Wow…the men have spoken up today, lol. There is a saying that the more you speak something, the more you believe it. If you speak negatively about your S.O. (even if it’s just in your mind) then you WILL eventually believe those things about him/her. Words ARE powerful.

  8. Ken

    I’m diabetic. No porn. I’m mid 50’s. Have lost feeling sensation down there. Erection doesn’t happen anymore. Been to urologist. Have tried pills and injections. Pills sort of work. Wow injections just add pain and weirdness to love making. Anybody else? Any suggestions? I still pleasure my wife but rare for me.

    • T

      Check into the Weston A Price Foundation and change your diet. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is a great place to start, and Dr. Tom Cowan has some helpful things to say about that. Good luck! There’s hope.

  9. Cal

    I can relate to #5.
    When it comes to chores to be done around the house (laundry, dishes, cleaning bathrooms, straightening up the house, and home repair), I handle it all with very little help from her (and I’ve asked many times for help!). She works part time, but doesn’t put much effort into making sure things are cleaned up and good-to-go while she’s off.
    After work and coming home to handle most of the housework, I barely have any energy left in me by the time we get in the bed.
    And then when it comes to sex, she wants me to be the one to initiate. Foreplay is usually a one way street with her receiving, but not giving.
    I’d love to come home every once in a while and hear the words, “Don’t worry about working on X, Y, and Z around the house, because I’ve already handled it. And because I know you’re stretched to the max and I appreciate all you do for our family, why don’t I spoil you tonight and give you a nice long back rub?”

  10. Anon

    This is such a great list, Sheila, and so important to keep in mind to have a healthy marriage. In our marriage, health issues and stress seem to be what most affects my husband’s sex drive. I try to be supportive but ultimately I can’t fix either of these issues. Ultimately, he has to decide to make greater frequency a priority but it isn’t a priority for him even though we’ve discussed it. But I’m also not as upset by it as I used to be. We usually have sex twice a month and it’s enjoyable for both of us, so I’m grateful for that.
    I’m also glad you mentioned delayed ejaculation because it’s usually completely off the radar. It would be great to see more resources and discussion on it but it affects such a small percentage of men that it’s almost never discussed.

  11. T

    Check into the Weston A Price Foundation and change your diet. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is a great place to start, and Dr. Tom Cowan has some helpful things to say about that. Good luck! There’s hope.

    • T

      This was meant for Ken above.

  12. Natalie

    I feel like I need to defend Outlanders here, seeing as how I’m an epic fan haha (and Poldark and Victoria and all the other series that go in that period romantic fiction category… though I’ll admit, Outlander does have more sex in it than most in that genre). My husband knows I love that series. Heck, he watches it with me. It’s “our show”, but not for the attractive cast, though of course who doesn’t appreciate watching attractive people on tv. (He did study abroad in Scotland & I in Ireland, & we’ve travelled extensively in the region, so it brings back many fond memories of our younger dating/pre-children years). While the eye candy is nice, there have been plenty of times where I’ve told him a positive trait of one of the characters reminds me of him; he likes that. (And not just in Outlander, but other series I’ve liked too over the years).
    I know many women get into erotica/romance plots and start holding their husbands to the unrealistic standards set by fantasy men whose characters were often written by women! And that’s just ridiculous, unfair, & not appropriate in a marriage. I’ll admit, in my weaker moments when my husband and I have been quite distant in our marriage, I’ve done this as well (as I’m sure nearly all women have at some point in their lives). But I also find what draws me to stories like those is not only the fantasy world but that the characters (either one of them, both of them as a couple, or their relationship dynamic) remind me of something in my own marriage… either something I/we are currently experiencing, or something we shared together in the past. It often helps remind me of those feelings I used to feel for my husband more frequently when we were younger & everything was new and exciting. I think being reminded of those feelings is good in a long term relationship from time to time. So I think it’s important how you’re using romance series/books, what your mindset is going into reading/watching them, and how you direct that romantic energy.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I totally get you, Natalie. Interestingly, too, in the books the only sex scenes are between married couples, and it actually shows a very healthy sexual relationship between married couples. The show is just really graphic!

    • Boone

      Natalie, if my wife wants me to be Jamie Frazier then I’m happy to be Jamie Frazier. “Do na fas yourself, Sasanach.”

  13. Randy

    You talked about women taking care of their weight, you should have also mentioned hygiene. This can go for men too but if you don’t clean yourself on a regular basis it can make it difficult to want to give your partner oral.

  14. Sherrill

    I have a question. I am 69, my husband is 70. We have experienced a normal sex life except that after menopause my libido went to zero. My husband had to nearly bribe me to go to bed with him. On the advice of a doctor friend, a year or so ago we were both tested for hormones and, no surprise, my testosterone level was 0. We are now on hormones and our sex life has improved greatly- and I am much more responsive. My question/concern is this- along with my increased libido I suddenly developed an interest in reading sexy novels. This occurred at the same time as I began taking hormones. My husband has never paid much attention to what I read but suddenly he is very concerned with my enjoyment of these kinds of novels. I read other books as well but these novels primarily. None of them involve hurtful relationships but are love stories with explicit sex. Is he right to be concerned? He is a lay leader in our church and I feel like I am not meeting his standard of a holy woman! I know porn is destructive but is what I am reading porn?

    • Chris

      Hi Sherrill, as Christians we are called to an ethical theory called “consequentialism”, where you try to figure out whether an action had good or bad consequences. This is taught explicitly by Jesus (“you will know a tree by its fruit” in Mat 7) and the letter of James talks about this as the Law of Liberty, and Paul speaks consequentially when he confirms eating food offered to idols in 1 Cor 10. (He essentially reasons, “yes you are correct, the is no god behind that idol and therefore they offered the sacrifice to no-one, so it is not tainted. Sure. But when you eat it, people might just think that Christianity is just another of these mystery cults, just another idol to worship, and misleading people in that way is indirectly promoting sin and Satan.) Jesus adds a crucial caveat when he says that lusting privately is the same as committing adultery: internal growth and the cultivation of relationship is part of the consequences! So we as Christians are called to evaluate the consequences of our actions, not follow blind rules, and we are called to consider our relationships with each other and the almighty as more real than the material existence and social roles and physical damage we happen to have/be/do. The proper answer to your question is not “those are sin” or “those are not sin:” perhaps they are sin in these circumstances but not those! But the proper answer is to point you back to Jesus, with earnest prayer He will let you know about the relationships you need to build up, and He will convict your soul about the things that you are not building up but tearing down. For instance if you come to your husband built up in arousal from these books and it is not perceived by him as a betrayal but rather you have amazing sex as a result, this is likely a net positive… But you say it makes him uncomfortable instead and that is dangerous. If he is open you might invite him to read the steamy parts with you, to understand what turns you on here. If he is not comfortable you may need to curtail your usage, even if it were pure, out of wanting to strengthen the relationship.


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