PODCAST: Is Sex a “Yes Space” for Men? And What Does that Do to Women’s Libido?

by | Jun 2, 2022 | Podcasts | 16 comments

Is Sex a Yes Space for Men? Podcast

Have we made sex–and marriage–into a “Yes Space” for men?

And if so, how does this affect libido?

It’s been a while since Rebecca and I recorded a podcast where we just talked about what we wanted to talk about, rather than having everything all planned out. So welcome to our conversation about something Rebecca’s passionate about–yes spaces!

In parenting, a “yes” space means creating an environment for your toddlers where you’re not constantly telling them to stop, or saying “no”. So you get the dangerous stuff out of reach, you fill the room with all kinds of stuff they’re allowed to play with, and then they can explore and you can relax because you’re not always saying “no”.

What if we’ve made marriage and sex a “yes space” for men? We’ve got some funny examples including makeup brushes and testicles, wet towels, and kids who only belong to the mom.

And how does all of that affect women’s libido? Listen in!

Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:


Timeline of the Podcast

0:45 What is a ‘Yes’ space?
3:20 The ‘Yes’ space with Christian sex lives
12:10 Our goal should be growth
33:30 Where is the slant in the advice?
40:20 “But isn’t this unfair to men?”
43:15 The oral sex debate
51:45 So how are we called to sacrifice?

Let’s Talk Yes Spaces!

We cover:

  • The makeup brush on his testicles advice from Gary Thomas’ book Married Sex
  • The slanted oral sex advice–where it’s always pressuring HER to give it to HIM, even though she’s far more likely to find orgasm easier through oral sex. (Like to him it’s a bonus; to her it’s more the main thing).
  • The idea that “Erica has four children” while her husband Timothy “helps” her
  • How we can tell if mental load is slanted too far in one direction
  • More evidence that the debate is slanted in the way Married Sex talks about how we sacrifice with regards to sex: she sacrifices by having more sex she doesn’t want; he sacrifices by having as much sex as he wants, but making sure she enjoys it and also talking to her more and helping out a little bit at home
  • The priority of male orgasm vs. female orgasm in how we talk about what’s fair with adventurousness and sex

To explain what we mean by Yes Spaces, let me tell you about the makeup brushes.

This is advice that’s given by Gary Thomas in his book Married Sex, which he co-wrote with Debra Fileta (this particular advice is in his chapter). He’s explaining how to manually stimulate a man, and in very erotic language he talks about using a silk scarf or makeup brush on the guy’s testicles.

Now, we’re not against this in the least. But to assume that it’s okay to take her makeup brush–which needs to be sanitary in order not to spread a staph infection, and can be quite expensive–and just use it on his testicles is a little much. It shows that he thinks anything she owns is fair game for his sexual pleasure.

If he had said, “head to the dollar store and buy some cheap brushes and have some fun!” that would be great. But to not even think about how that advice will affect women shows that women’s perspectives and experiences aren’t being considered. And why use her silk scarf on his testicles instead of his silk pocket square or silk tie? Again, nothing wrong with using her silk scarf. But remember that some are expensive and require dry cleaning!

We just laughed at this in the book, and explained how we see this throughout so many books.

And then we ask: Can we change this?

This month we’ll be looking at what kills women’s libido. And we wanted to have a fun conversation where we just rant about some stuff that’s been bothering us to get the ball rolling!

The Orgasm Course is Here to Help You Experience Real Passion!

Figure out what’s holding you back. Open the floodgates to orgasm.

Things Mentioned in This Podcast:


Is Sex a Yes Space for Men?

I truly think we can change this “yes” space idea just by talking about this more. What do you think? Do you have hope? Have you seen this phenomenon? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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. Codec

    This “Yes Space” concept is certainly interesting. I also find something weird. I live on my own. I make my own food. I clean up my own house. Why would you not work with others to clean up? It is more effecient. It gets more done. I do not get why Eggerichs does this. It is not helping him or his family.

    Also saying ” his penis is the key to his heart” as a man that does not excite me it scares me. I can find myself aroused even if I am disgusted and or annoyed. There is no love.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It is an extremely shallow view of sex for sure! I’d just say that you should go with your gut. That’s God telling you something. If you find what Gary Thomas said “off”, then don’t worry about it. Just dismiss it!

  2. Codec

    “I am a repentant woman now drop your pants”

    What? That sounds like a hentai plot.

    • Laura

      Good ole Mark Driscoll and his obsession with oral sex and preaching that wives should be their husbands’ personal porn stars or sex slaves. Very misogynistic.

  3. WD

    Can we talk about how women carry the domestic load regardless of whether they are stay-at-home spouses or not? Everyone should clean up after themselves. If you spill something, clean it up. If you find the garbage or recycling or compost are full, please empty them. If you take your clothes off, fold them neatly or put them away. If you track grass or mud into the front hall, sweep it. I understand that a spouse who stays home will do the typical domestic work… cooking, washing dishes, laundry, regular vacuuming, child care. But this doesn’t excuse the work-outside-the-home spouse from looking after their own things. Hang up your coat. Put your shoes on the rack. Pick up your work bag. Fold your clothes. Wipe up the spill of coffee. Have a look in the cupboard for another box of cereal. Add things to the grocery list when the package is low… before it is empty. Stop saying, “I was in a hurry.” “I didn’t see it.” “Well, one of us works. You are home all day. Why do I have to do it?”

    Serious libido killers.

  4. Jo R

    Which book is it that tells women to make their husbands feel like they’re good lovers, without the husbands actually having to BE good lovers?

    And I know several commenters here have over the years tried repeatedly to get their husbands to stop doing X and start doing Y, or to stop doing Z in this way and start doing it that way, or whatever the case may be, and the husband simply ignores what his wife says.

    In both cases, the husbands can’t fail by definition, because he neither has to improve nor even listen. He’s omniscient sexually even if he can’t produce actual results. It’s always up to wife to make the adjustments, because the wife can never be right by definition.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Both The Act of Marriage and For Women Only told women to make sure their husbands felt like they were good lovers and that they were enjoying sex–For Women Only added that they had to make sure he felt affirmed even if she wasn’t physically responding.

  5. Phil

    Havent finished listening yet – probably going to have to finish tomorrow 1: Katie – is it possible you could post the unedited portion of where Becca says the guy puts the make up brush on his ball sack and your Mom looks like she is about to fall on the floor laughing? I about lost it on that. Freakin hilarious 🤪 2. Gary Thomas wrote porn and now we have some insight into his sexual preferences 🤮. Im of to the fabric store check you later! 🤣🤣🤣

  6. Andrea

    I am convinced that some of these Christian men that got married as virgins in their very early twenties feel like they’ve missed out on secular culture (and the worst of it too, frat-boy culture is what I really mean, there are perfectly respectful and kind secular men) and so they try to make up for it in marriage. Gary Thomas seems to feel like he missed out on so-called locker room talk, where guys brag about all the hot sex they’re having. Here’s the thing, though, Gary: even frat boy types would NEVER speak that way of their WIVES. They have a Madonna/Whore complex, there’s the girl you bang – that’s the one for locker room talk – and then there’s the girl you marry, and if any of your buddies ever even dares insinuate anything sexual about her, you punch him in the face and you punch him haaard. She’s the mother of your children, after all! I mean what an idiot, if you’re gonna appropriate the worst of secular culture, at least do it right, even frat boys have a code of conduct, Gary.

  7. Marisa

    This was awesome. Great job, ladies.

  8. Emmy

    I have not read Married Sex (not available where I live) so forgive me my ignorance when I ask: Is that make up brush thing something mutual? I mean, does this book give similar advice to pleasure HER, or is that kind of stuff only for HIM?

    In any case, I must say I do prefer the make up brush advice 10 times to “Mr Happy” by Kevin Lehman or to some advice of Mark Driscoll I won’t repeat here.

    At least, I can laugh about it. I can’t laugh about Mark Driscoll or “Mr Happy”.

  9. Laura

    I enjoyed listening to this podcast so much! I do agree that the church has given men a “Yes Space” in their marriages. For crying out loud, women’s Bible studies and marriage ministries teach that wives cannot tell their husbands “no” and that husbands’ opinions trump those of their wives, so whatever the husband says goes. At least that was the case in my former marriage. We were both in our 20s and it was the first marriage for both of us. He even told me I was never allowed to tell him NO.

    Thankfully, I got out of that marriage a long time ago and have the freedom to live my life the way I want. I only have to pick up after myself and my dog. If I don’t feel like doing something, I don’t.

  10. Renae B

    Becca’s “British mom reading” of that excerpt from the book had me ROLLING! Her and I could seriously be best friends. Too bad I’m one province over! Love you guys!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Love you too! (Are you in Manitoba? I’m hoping to come to Winnipeg to speak in November!)

      • Renae B

        Yes I am! I would LOVE to come see you! (Again). I attended one of your girl talks about 7 years ago. It was purely amazing and so so enjoyable


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