Sex & Intimacy

The Spectrum of Sex

Regular and consistent sex is extremely important for a healthy marriage. But life gets busy, disconnection happens, and sometimes sex is burdensome. All of these things can lead to a lack of intimacy and a decrease in sexual satisfaction. If unchecked, it can create deeper issues like pornography addiction and bitterness. So how do we keep sex consistent and meaningful?

Selena and I have discovered that being utterly honest with each other about expectations, types, and frequency of sex is the best way to go. Feeling sexually frustrated, we sat down and discussed a few possible sex scenarios that evolved into a scale of sorts…

The “Spectrum of Sex”

Not all sex is created equal. Ever hear of a “quickie”?  Selena and I established a “Spectrum of Sex” if you will (sounds epic right?). We don’t actually call it that, but since I have to write something that name will do. Basically, it is a range that we refer to when discussing sex. The range goes from “coupe” to “freight train” or, for foodies, from “snack” to “feast”.

It’s meant to provide clarity for communicating each others expectation when approaching sexy time (cue Barry White).

“Sports car” sex

At one end of the spectrum you have sex that is quick. It’s usually to fulfill a physiological need and little else. Think of it like a sports car. It’s quick, flashy, and gets you from A to B. This type of sex is totally fine as long it is clearly communicated.

Most guys begin feeling sexual urges every 2-3 days. This means they (we) need sex about 3 times a week. This is where this end of the spectrum is very useful: busy people don’t always have time for long drawn out experiences and sometimes you just need to check it off your list so you can go about your day. It’s a great focus enhancer!

For you foodies, think of it as “snack sex”. It’s a quick fix to curb your hunger until it’s time for a 7 course meal.

Freight train sex

At the other end of the spectrum, you have sex that is deep, emotionally intimate, and intense. I like to compare it to a freight train: it may take a while to gain momentum, but once it’s full speed, good luck stopping it! It still gets from A to B, but it’s much more drawn out and carries a much heavier payload.

Freight train sex is the kind you experience on purpose as a part of your relationship deepening activities – like a romantic Friday night date. Both of you are fully present and fully invested in the journey.

To continue the foodie example, this is “feast sex”. It takes lots of preparation and time to enjoy, but the bounty is plentiful and the experience is rich.

How we deal

Selena and I have a basic rule: sex happens every 2-3 days. She expects it, I expect it. Sometimes it’s sporty, sometimes it’s heavy.

Around day 2 I start giving Selena my “sexy stare” with eyebrows raised and sheepish grin. She knows what I’m thinking and will often ask, “snack sex?”. She knows what’s up and we’re off to the races!

Other times, we set aside an evening where we can light some candles and bust out the Barry White.

Either way, having a set spectrum of expectation helps us play from the same sheet music (nice pun right?). The key is unity of expectation.

How you deal

It’s important that you talk together and establish your “Spectrum of Sex”. It will be unique to you and your spouse’s needs. Set the ground rules for how to communicate and what to expect.

Talk about frequency, types, and expectations. Make a commitment to each other to be selfless in sex and explain to your spouse (and listen to them explain) your needs. By setting aside time in our minds for the various types of sex helps us stay close and connected, even when life gets busy and romance isn’t practical.

Question: Just for fun, what analogies can you think of for your “Spectrum of Sex”? (keep it classy!)

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  • Lydia

    Well, my husband loves pizza….So your “quickie” could be a plain pizza pie….where as your “freight train” could be a fully-loaded, everything on it pizza! You also have your combo pizza, your “one topping” pizza…etc. :) Otherwise, we love food period…so a “quickie” could be fast food, and your “freight train” could be the name of your favorite expensive sit down restaurant. :)

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  • Ms.Understood

    I loved your article, but I would love to hear you address how you choose a frequency when one person has the same drive as when he was 20 and his wife has been shot into menopause (surgically) and doesn’t need sex like he needs air. I am a committed and obedient wife, and I have told him I am always there for him, all he needs to do is ask. Granted I do not initiate as often as I should but I am always trying to be better. My need makes itself apparent about ever 3 months or so and it’s awesome, but after that I’m good to go for another few months. However because I don’t need it like he does, there seems to be a disconnection of some sort. I’m not sure he understands that I can honor him in this way without reaching the ‘finish line’ also. I’m sure the issue is deeper, but I’m just not sure how to get there I guess. Does that make sense at all?

    • Henry

      ” there seems to be a disconnection of some sort. I’m not sure he understands that I can honor him in this way without reaching the ‘finish line’ also.”

      Here’s the disconnection: He doesn’t see you just as a receptacle for his penis. He wants to be wanted, not accommodated.

      If you can’t wrap your head around that, all the “obedience” in the world won’t help.

    • James Lemson

      my wife put me in a similar situation after we had our first child. she lost all interest in sex, we went from almost daily to about once a week as her pregnancy approached. and then after the baby was born it was about 4 months before we had sex again. over the next year we got back to about once a week, but i wanted to have sex alot more than she did and it started to be her having sex to get me to stop trying. and then i would want sex and not ask cause i didn’t want to upset her. to the point where we haven’t had sex in 6 months and she has moved out cause she doesn’t feel that i love her anymore. I still love her but don’t know how to try and fix this.

      But i can say from experience that she was willing to “let me have sex” and at first i thought that would be ok, I was very horny and wanted her alot. but when she wasn’t into sex, it left me feeling empty. It was like eating cotton candy, it tasted good but afterwards i was hungrier and didn’t feel good. What i really wanted wasn’t sex it was the intimacy that i felt during sex. Her disconnection with physical intimacy led us down the road that is looking like it will end in divorce even though I still love her with all my heart. As i stopped feeling loved by her i stopped showing love even though i still felt it. Now she feels unloved and unappreciated, and has moved out and won’t listen when i try to show her I still love her and want to work things out.

      • nicanone

        I am finding out that there is so much more to intimacy. My husband and I are going to try the 5 week challenge it has to do with the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman and there is even an app you can download on your phone. I took the profile quiz and then you have your wife do it and you find out what her and your love languages are and then you build from there. I’m guessing finding out which way one another likes to be showed they are loved helps you be able to show her your love and the way she may feel it! I don’t know how to share links in a. comment but just Google 5 love languages or Gary Chapman his article is also on the focus on the family website! Well I wish you the best and I will pray for your reunification!

      • wildflower4me

        Sex is a thermometer of the marriage. Your problem isn’t a lack of sex, it is deeper than that.

    • devoted13

      He just needs to be wanted…..honor is not sexy….fake it if you cant. That’s how you honor him, not here let me do this chore because you need it, I have to.

      • wildflower4me

        Faking is the same as lying.

  • carter sasha

    My wife and I have been married for almost three years now. We were recently blessed with a baby boy (3 months old now). One of the major problems I personally have had is to do with our sexual life. Currently we are doing about once in 2 weeks. My wife does not initiate the act, and at times I have to really beg for some. Early in our marriage I would make noise about it, like fight for and over sex, now I have resolved to enjoy as it comes. My problem is, I have the desire for sex and I really feel the pressure of not having sex for up to two weeks. I have tried hard not to get into masturbation, but at times I give in. I have tried not to go after other women, but sometimes the mind just wanders off. How do I address my issue.

    • Carter, thank you for sharing. You’re facing a dilemma I’ve faced as well (and I imagine many other couples face it as well). An “Asymmetrical desire for intimacy” if you will… Each couple must communicate through it.

      Have you spoken with your wife openly about your concerns and needs? Also ask her what she’s feeling about it, she’s not oblivious to it. Seek to communicate in a time when you’re not prone to frustration. Just lay it all out for her: what you’re missing about your intimacy, why you miss her that way, and what you’re struggling with in the meantime (lust in it’s various forms).

      Take the helm and lead her in the conversation. Pray up, study up, and think through how you can communicate in a way that’s loving toward her.
      Hope this helps. Blessings.

      • SL

        This is more than just asymmetrical desire.

        3 months post-partum is a unique situation and reminding husbands with newborns and new mamas at home that this is a season, not a permanent state of things, would be helpful to them.

        When a woman has just given birth, it doesn’t mean that the husband’s sexual needs are unimportant. But it does mean that for the time being, a man should be willing to put them down a few notches on the priority list for the sake of his wife and baby.

        • KL

          Of course there is a season of healing for the sake of post-labor, but there are ways to connect without the act of intercourse. I gave birth to 2 babies, yet I knew my husband had physical needs that needed to be met, and a mere “understanding” of where I was was not enough. Communicate your needs, with love and understanding of where your wife is, and be honest about your needs too. For me, things hurt and I was exhauseted, but my husband would let me get away or draw a bath, showing his care for me, and in turn, I could please him and bring the sexual release he needed. Meet her needs, she may meet yours, but it starts with TALKING.

          • carter sasha

            I have never talked to her about masturbation, and once in a while i do masturbate. My fear is that of being judged/ridiculed, so I have done it secretly. Could this be a trap from the devil. Is it wrong before God. How do I handle it.

          • TP

            Oh my YES!! My hubby an I just went through this. I’m more hurt now because it went on so long( 8 months after our baby). I personally don’t have a problem with masturbation if the circumstances are fitting and OF COURSE it’s me on his mind :). My issue was with the secrecy ( I found out on my own). Come clean to her on your own and she may not be as hurt. I was hurt though that my husband felt like he couldn’t be open with me and that we were so distant (with not a ton of effort to get closer). We had an amazing conversation recently and if I can’t give him what he needs with sex in that moment or day he can masturbate with me( it helps us feel connected). He is very honest if he is struggling to keep his eyes and thoughts pure and this helps remind me my body is his and I have a role to help him in that area. If you talk to your wife and explain and have love in your conversation an understanding that she may be a little hurt then things will be okay. Pray about it together and seek God for help! Satan is great at deceiving, my husband thought I would be irritate and look down on him and find him disgusting…. Not so at all! I know he has needs I was just so busy in the needs of a baby and crazy hormones and emotional ups and downs that I had simply forgotten to be more for him. Have grace for your wife and communicate what can work for you as a couple. And again seek God in this area specifically seek Him together!

          • MelissaMelissa

            Hey carter. Been reading this little thread here. Hope I can give an explanation from another female.

            We’ve got a baby girl, one year old and we rent a room from friends.

            I struggled with pornography for a few years and I’ve only been intimate with my spouse. We did not wait till marriage though. Having been into pornography I had a very unrealistic expectation of sex, which made things very hard for me and in turn for my loving husband want to please me.

            I’ve learned that the absolute BEST thing to do is spill EVERYTHING. Every thought every desire every temptation. And do so with a humble spirit. Go to her with tear if you need to! Not to manipulate but with sincerity. And NEVER talk like she is in the wrong for her with holding.
            Sex is a lot easier for a man to feel satisfied through. Women like to feel control most of the time and really sex is not at all about control, so I think that scares women. And if we can’t let go of everything and feel safe and totally beautiful and free then it’s just not going to be very fun. Instead it becomes a mess to clean up.

            On the issue of masterbation… Pray about it together. If it makes her uncomfortable then be willing to stop. But express your mechanical NEED

          • Melissa

            (Sorry didn’t let me finish my post)

            for the release of “pressure” in your pants.
            You might even be surprised that she might be having the same thoughts (maybe not post partum) about masturbation for herself. I know I don’t masterbate nearly as often as my husband but I feel way more guilt about it. And I think it’s because I feel like “I can get the job done better”
            It’s something I want him to be able to do, or at least help me with. When we are intimate and we “work on” me I start feeling selfish (cuz usually it’s late at night while babies sleeping and he’s looking tired and ready to be done) so many thoughts go through my head. “Am I taking too long?? Is he bored?? He’s not quite touching me right. Ouch! Hmmm maybe I’m getting tired too? Is baby girl waking up?? Am I making to much noise??” …and with all those thoughts there’s no way I’m going to get “done”. I usually try to call it early so I don’t waste anymore time but it can feel very disappointing and then I don’t feel confidant and I think it leaves my husband feeling less confidant and even more tired.

            We’ve been married two years and we’ve have always made a point to speak anything we are thinking. ESPECIALLY the thing we feel like hiding. And we always make a point to openly listen to those things from the other, without accusations or judgment. We are married, we are a team, we are not against one another. He is there to hold me up and I am here to hold him up. When he is struggling my job is to help and not feel hurt. He doesn’t struggle because he doesn’t like me, he struggles because he is a man. A fallen sinful man. A man who knows who his Maker is and he’s trying to be like his Maker. And the same goes for me. I try to always tell him when I have a wondering eye or a”feeling” about another man. I don’t ever let a man get close enough to me to have feeling for him but some times there’s just a good looking man walking by and I forget for a second. I let my husband know so that he can keep in mind that I maybe need a little more attention, or that he needs to remind me who’s I am (whether with his words or actions or time).

            Does you wife read or take interest in these articles?

            Have you read the book sheet music? It’s pretty good.

            Again on the masterbation topic. Scripture doesn’t mention it. Ere are many different theologies on the topic. Everyone feels differently about it. I had struggled for YEARS with it and I had a heart to heart with my sister inlaw (prior to being married) about it and after I spilled my guts and felt like I could stop she told me “it’s not a terrible thing, instead of using porn or thinking about people having sex, just pray and talk to god while doing it, use it as an act of worship instead”
            When I first heard that I was just like “what????.,” Made no sense to me!

            I still don’t feel that extreme yet but I do know that it possible to not have sinful thoughts in mind while masterbating. There’s nothing wrong with thinking about your wife lovely body and how you long for it. But make sure she knows that you are thinking of her. Take showers together. Just have her let you look at her while you do it. Have her wash her hair with her eyes closed and watch the water run over her. She doesn’t have to be involved, unless she wants to.

            Another IMPORTANT thing we have both learned is to not feel offended when things “switch hands” we all know our own bodies best and when things get going some times you need to take back the reigns to finish or things will die back down and you’ll be left feeling unfinished. And that doesn’t feel good at all. It feel very lonely too when you don’t feel you can express that.

            Anyway. Hope I didn’t cross any lines with imagery.
            Have you wife read this! We all get our view on sex shaped from different places. We all have the things we are comfortable with and not. We have to remember what works you you may not work for me and vise versa. If only scripture were clearer!! But it’s not but you know what?? We have a god of order and not of confusion!! Hallelujah!! If He disapproved He’d say so clearly. We have to read the Word for ourselves and not let someone else’s interpretation of it hinder us or even set us free from what it truly says. His Ways are GOOD and they are clear! It is satan who causes confusion. My husband and I really started taking a look for ourselves into scripture and we’ve found ourselves keeping a lot of the “disregarded” commands and we’ve never felt free-er to just live and love god and to love each other.

            He is good and marriage is good. Let love reign and have not fear!

            May god bless you and your wife carter!

          • Melissa

            Hey I ment to reply to you but I just replied to the last person on the thread. Take a look at my comments. Ill see if I can copy repost the comment to you :)

          • Melissa

            Hey carter. Been reading this little thread here. Hope I can give an explanation from another female.

            We’ve got a baby girl, one year old and we rent a room from friends.

            I struggled with pornography for a few years and I’ve only been intimate with my spouse. We did not wait till marriage though. Having been into pornography I had a very unrealistic expectation of sex, which made things very hard for me and in turn for my loving husband want to please me.

            I’ve learned that the absolute BEST thing to do is spill EVERYTHING. Every thought every desire every temptation. And do so with a humble spirit. Go to her with tear if you need to! Not to manipulate but with sincerity. And NEVER talk like she is in the wrong for her with holding.
            Sex is a lot easier for a man to feel satisfied through. Women like to feel control most of the time and really sex is not at all about control, so I think that scares women. And if we can’t let go of everything and feel safe and totally beautiful and free then it’s just not going to be very fun. Instead it becomes a mess to clean up.

            On the issue of masterbation… Pray about it together. If it makes her uncomfortable then be willing to stop. But express your mechanical NEED

          • Melissa

            Melissa MelissaMelissa • 10 minutes ago
            (Sorry didn’t let me finish my post)

            for the release of “pressure” in your pants.
            You might even be surprised that she might be having the same thoughts (maybe not post partum) about masturbation for herself. I know I don’t masterbate nearly as often as my husband but I feel way more guilt about it. And I think it’s because I feel like “I can get the job done better”
            It’s something I want him to be able to do, or at least help me with. When we are intimate and we “work on” me I start feeling selfish (cuz usually it’s late at night while babies sleeping and he’s looking tired and ready to be done) so many thoughts go through my head. “Am I taking too long?? Is he bored?? He’s not quite touching me right. Ouch! Hmmm maybe I’m getting tired too? Is baby girl waking up?? Am I making to much noise??” …and with all those thoughts there’s no way I’m going to get “done”. I usually try to call it early so I don’t waste anymore time but it can feel very disappointing and then I don’t feel confidant and I think it leaves my husband feeling less confidant and even more tired.

            We’ve been married two years and we’ve have always made a point to speak anything we are thinking. ESPECIALLY the thing we feel like hiding. And we always make a point to openly listen to those things from the other, without accusations or judgment. We are married, we are a team, we are not against one another. He is there to hold me up and I am here to hold him up. When he is struggling my job is to help and not feel hurt. He doesn’t struggle because he doesn’t like me, he struggles because he is a man. A fallen sinful man. A man who knows who his Maker is and he’s trying to be like his Maker. And the same goes for me. I try to always tell him when I have a wondering eye or a”feeling” about another man. I don’t ever let a man get close enough to me to have feeling for him but some times there’s just a good looking man walking by and I forget for a second. I let my husband know so that he can keep in mind that I maybe need a little more attention, or that he needs to remind me who’s I am (whether with his words or actions or time).

            Does you wife read or take interest in these articles?

            Have you read the book sheet music? It’s pretty good.

            Again on the masterbation topic. Scripture doesn’t mention it. Ere are many different theologies on the topic. Everyone feels differently about it. I had struggled for YEARS with it and I had a heart to heart with my sister inlaw (prior to being married) about it and after I spilled my guts and felt like I could stop she told me “it’s not a terrible thing, instead of using porn or thinking about people having sex, just pray and talk to god while doing it, use it as an act of worship instead”
            When I first heard that I was just like “what????.,” Made no sense to me!

            I still don’t feel that extreme yet but I do know that it possible to not have sinful thoughts in mind while masterbating. There’s nothing wrong with thinking about your wife lovely body and how you long for it. But make sure she knows that you are thinking of her. Take showers together. Just have her let you look at her while you do it. Have her wash her hair with her eyes closed and watch the water run over her. She doesn’t have to be involved, unless she wants to.

            Another IMPORTANT thing we have both learned is to not feel offended when things “switch hands” we all know our own bodies best and when things get going some times you need to take back the reigns to finish or things will die back down and you’ll be left feeling unfinished. And that doesn’t feel good at all. It feel very lonely too when you don’t feel you can express that.

            Anyway. Hope I didn’t cross any lines with imagery.
            Have you wife read this! We all get our view on sex shaped from different places. We all have the things we are comfortable with and not. We have to remember what works you you may not work for me and vise versa. If only scripture were clearer!! But it’s not but you know what?? We have a god of order and not of confusion!! Hallelujah!! If He disapproved He’d say so clearly. We have to read the Word for ourselves and not let someone else’s interpretation of it hinder us or even set us free from what it truly says. His Ways are GOOD and they are clear! It is satan who causes confusion. My husband and I really started taking a look for ourselves into scripture and we’ve found ourselves keeping a lot of the “disregarded” commands and we’ve never felt free-er to just live and love god and to love each other.

            He is good and marriage is good. Let love reign and have not fear!

            May god bless you and your wife carter!

          • Tomais

            I am sorry that you are going through something so difficult. My usual rule of thumb is that if you feel a need to hide something you’ve done, it is not good. Additionally, masturbation can lead to some seriously addictive and compulsive behavior.
            As a counselor I urge you to consider getting some counseling from a Christian therapist who can help you to sort through the feelings and frustrations which are leading you to act out in a sexual way. While it is probable that some of the problem is lack of consistent intercourse, there are also likely other factors which are playing into your behavior as well.
            I also agree with Melissa that you ought to be completely honest with your wife. Keeping secrets in your marriage will only lead to heartache. If you are concerned about being rejected by your spouse, then tell her with a professional mediator (counselor, clergyman, etc) with you to help you both sort through the powerful emotions that you are both likely to experience.
            Hope this helps…

          • Kristel

            Don’t hide it. That’s so much more hurtful than the act itself. Sit down with her and have a real conversation about it. But if she finds out in another way it will be very hurtful. I’ve been there. But talking to her about how you feel and what’s going on and how to fix the issue is the best idea. I didn’t want much sex after our kids were born, but it really helped when he helped me throughout the day with the kids without being asked, showed interest in how I was doing, helped me with whatever I needed, and showed some understanding. I’m sure you’re doing these things but if not its a good place to start. Be sweet. Hold her hand, give her a hug. That’s what worked for me, the little things done throughout the day. Not just when he wanted sex.

          • Kalyn Foggy

            I would say it’s wrong because you are hiding it from your wife. Masturbation is a slippery slope my friend, especially if you are being tempted with thoughts of other women.

          • Bob

            Understood medical conditions. Suck it up. Enough said there.

            But feminism is creeping in here. No sex, no masturbation. Go to a therapist. Don’t be selfish. Dont, dont, dont. Really?

            Yes the God given drives are still there. Now what? And I don’t care to hear a women tell me how to handle the man issues. With a couple exceptions, most seem to be content to do without or grit thru it. Believe it or not men want to be wanted in return.

            And yes, enough rejection will drive anyone away, short of neutering, which almost seems the goal in this thread.

          • Bob

            So far, four women have indicated a predicament similar to most men. High self libido, low partner libido. And no replies.

            But the men get taken to task for their selfish attitudes.

            And there in lies the issue in our current culture, both secular AND non-secular.

            So what is the answer applicable to both sexes? And let’s keep the answers man to man and woman to woman. And relevant to the site theme, Christian marriage.

            And to the “counselor” that said sex is not a true need; go retake psych 101, specifically Maslows Hierarchy of Needs.

          • Chastity

            sorry to tell you bro, but masturbation is never right, even when you’re married. Fact is, if you could go with no self sex, or sex with other women when you weren’t married, and you didn’t die, you won’t die from abstaining from sex in marriage either. We’re all called to Chastity, that is, living out our sexuality as God intended it to be lived out. Masturbating does not the respect the temple of the Hoky Spirit that your body is. It is using your body as a means to an end, for your own selfish pleasure. Masurbation is founded in lust, not love. Lust is not part of God’s desire for your sexuality. Feminism has nothing to do with it

        • Cait

          I really appreciate your comments. They were kind and honest. I have an amazingly patient husband and am so grateful for how understanding he is. I appreciated this post by Ryan, but I do think a woman’s perspective could be a little more validated. Women are biologically designed to have a lower drive after child birth. This was an original form of birth protection so women’s bodies have time to heal. And, as you said, nursing surpresses libido for most women. A woman gives herself in every way for the survival of her child. She has to sacrifice herself in many ways. Naturally, the husband is not always number one all the time. It is sometimes frustrating that sometimes men can only see their sacrifice and needs and aren’t able to see the mother of their child is doing all she physically can to keep everyone happy, usually prioritizing her needs last. It takes A LOT of patience from everyone.

    • SL

      Wife and mom with 2 small boys here — wanted to add some perspective that you mind find helpful. I’m actually surprised Ryan didn’t mention this.

      3 months is, while a looonnng time for the husband, not a long time for a wife who’s just given birth. Libido is low d/t hormones (especially if she’s nursing), she might still be healing, etc.

      If you’d have asked me 3 months post partum, I’d have probably said that I wasn’t sure if I ever needed sex again. I was exhausted, I was still healing from childbirth, and at the end of a full day of caring for a newborn, more touch was at the bottom of my list — especially touch that was still painful.

      Six months postpartum, things improved drastically. Our frequency still wasn’t perfect, but it was much better. A year out, even better (clearly, since we have a second boy).

      All this to say — it won’t always be like it is now. And how you interact with your wife now sets the stage for how you’ll interact once the new-baby-first-year challenges are long gone.

      I agree with Ryan that communication — open, honest, messy — is key here. But as you communicate with your wife, I encourage you to keep how she’s feeling in mind, not just your physical needs. Ask her how she’s feeling. Ask her openly if intercourse is painful or if there are other ways she’d prefer for you to meet each other’s sexual needs right now.

      My husband was and is very patient — he’s never guilted me about where we’re at (knowing that I felt badly enough about it already), even as he shared where he was at. His perspective — that this is a season, not a permanent state of things — has made a huge difference in getting us back in the sack.

      Hope that helps, as someone who’s been through this season before.

      PS: People have differing comfort levels with this, but for us, masturbation was very helpful during this season. We kept open communication about it. If solo masturbation is off-limits in your marriage, maybe team masturbation might help create a sense of intimacy while your wife is healing and adjusting to her new roles as wife and mother.

      • Kalyn Foggy

        What a wonderful response!

  • CC

    From a balogna sandwich to prime rib (with all the fixin’s)

  • Cknpro

    Bologna sandwich vs. Double cheeseburger all the way. We just came up with that lately. Been married 21 years….
    Problem is, you only separted it Into two categories. Sometime I like cheese on my bologna sandwich, sometimes a pickle. Don’t always want tomatoe on my DCB….. You get the picture – mix it up, keep it fresh.

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  • Lily

    Hey Ryan and Selena, what are your views on oral sex? I’ve heard a lot of opinions on it as the Bible doesn’t really say if it’s wrong or right. I’ve received some clarity, but not so much for me to be certain on whether it’s okay for a husband and wife to do it, or not. I know of a couple that has different perspectives on it. The husband thinks it’s okay and wants it, and the wife isn’t completely opposed but not fully for the idea of performing oral sex either. What do you guys think?

    • Kristel
    • Kristel

      I found this helpful. Authentic Intimacy is a group of Christian women who discuss issues about sex and marriage and stuff like that. http://www.authenticintimacy.com/blog/whats-ok/

    • outsider

      Oral sex is good, and I dont see anything wrong with it. If you can “love the breast of your wife of your youth” (proverbs), then why couldnt she love on some penis? Or him love on some clitoris and vigina? Does God only allow nipple/breast play?

    • lori

      Lily Read the christian book called
      Sheet music….

  • He’s My Hero

    I have 2 young kids, so I really do understand the way a woman’s sex drive/interest drops dramatically to zero after birth. However, a wife needs to remember that her husband’s sex drive doesn’t drop just because her drive does. He’s still that sexy man she married and enjoyed as a bride. The solution, for us, was for me to give him a quick hand job. I didn’t want anything myself, but it makes it much easier for him to cope with his wife’s total absorption with a newborn. And no matter how tired you are, you can usually stay awake long enough to love on your husband this way. It only takes a few minutes, and makes him so happy! Masturbation is always totally out for us.

  • Mimi

    What do you do when you really have no sex drive at all? I don’t want to hurt my husband… But I can’t fake desire, and he is not really into long preliminaries. We haven’t had sex for ages. He won’t talk about it. I feel really bad and I don’t know what to do.

    • wildflower4me

      Your issue isn’t sex. The lack of sex says that there is something wrong that goes much deeper.

    • Bob

      Biblically speaking 1 Corinthians 7.

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  • Rachael Lane Worley

    I am certain the best advice on sex I ever got is this. My husband set aside all other women for me, so if we’re going to have sex, I’m going to make it awesome sex. I’m going to choose to initiate it sometimes. I’m going to surprise him here and there. Grossing my kids out by really laying a good solid kiss on my husband iis totally awesome. And if I’m not in the mood, I am asking God to help me turn on the intimacy fires for my husband because this is God’s gift for us to share. And thus far, he’s totally answered on that!

    • Dom

      THANK YOU. With all the negativity on these comments it’s nice to see someone who has something positive and understanding to say about/towards their husband. I was beginning to think that all women would would eventually just lose interest in their husbands

  • Monica

    Chips or All That & a bag of Chips?!?!
    Comment: It would be great if men did not take it so personally when us women are struggling with a low libido and instead took it on as a CHALLENGE & (help) make their woman feel GOOD – not worse. yes – men need sex. Yes – women’s libido changes like the tide. Guess what guys – the better a woman feels about herself; a woman who is nurtured (emotionally, physically) by her partner is more likely to FEEL like having sex with him. So the men here that are poo-pooing about not getting it enough & intimacy issues….try stepping it up a little with helping out, giving her some free time to herself, compliments and frequent NON SEXUAL AFFECTION. You dont have to go overboard just be a little more attentive like you care!
    my husband and I have some issues were still working on since having our baby who’s now two. I was exhausted nursing, working full time & 2 other kids + cooking dinner every day, etc… He took my lack of interest in sex personally. I asked him to step in and help me more but he was so hurt from lack of sex, that he got really stubborn to me. then of course that TURNED ME OFF more & more. so we were in a viscous cycle & both of us were hurt. Now slowly recovering. I did have to specifically tell him that quickies are OK! I do not need to be ‘taken care of’ every time – it’s alot of pressure honestly. So we started with little snacks and appetizers and our appetites are getting bigger.

  • loves his touch

    what if the wife has a much higher sex drive than the hubby? The hubby wants once a week, when the wife wants every 3-4 days?

  • Full

    Our analogy is an ice cream sundae. Sometimes you get all the toppings, sometimes you just get chocolate ice cream, sometimes you just want a spoonful of whipped cream. I love whipped cream so usually if I’m having ice cream I’m going to want to throw some whipped cream on there ;)

    Honestly what helped me the most in the communication/expectation realm is to replace the term ‘sex’ in articles like this with ‘intimacy’ (or more often, in my mind, ‘making out’ :-p)…in that when my husband and I reference ‘sex’ it doesn’t necessarily include what some people think of as the definition of sex, more like ‘time spent making each other feel good in an intimate way’. I learned that when my husband says “I want to have sex with you” it didn’t mean “I want to use your body to satisfy a physiological need of mine” as popular culture had taught me (and which completely killed the mood for me when we were first married), but “I want to make you feel good and for us to feel closer” and that he really would be fine with kissing for 20 min and then falling asleep together, though he might still be motivated to initiate the next day. You have urges, because you are human, but you can channel those urges to build your relationship or use your relationship to fulfill your urges, but then you’re wasting one of the best ways to build your relationship and you’ll have to be replenishing your relationship in other ways or it will run dry pretty quickly.

    I hope to teach our three sons that God made them sexual beings and the purpose of their sexuality is to help hold their marriage together and if their sole goal for intimate situations with their wife is to make her feel good in ways that he is comfortable with and her goal is to make him feel good in ways that she is comfortable with, ‘sex’ should never be burdensome. Who would reject someone who they love who has shown that they aren’t trying to use you, they really just want to make you feel good in whatever way would feel good to you currently? If you’re getting urges and you’ve learned to use them to motivate you to try and make your spouse feel good it won’t feel like a burden, those urges will work for you. Sometimes your libido will be lower than other times (stress and pregnancy and medication and breastfeeding and exhaustion and age and lots of other things can affect it) so it’s a good idea to get in the habit of letting ‘feeling disconnected’ be another motivator to reach out to make your spouse feel good. Urge to merge=I want to be closer to my spouse=I am feeling disconnected from my spouse as well as vice versa…I am feeling disconnected from my spouse=I want to be closer to my spouse=I know how to fix that.

  • brit

    I’ve never heard anyone really talk about this question I have, especially not in the Christian world where we are taught to live and respect our husband’s through this. But my question is what if the wife has (and has had all her life, most importantly since night 1 of the marriage) a disorder which causes extreme pain with sex? If she didn’t know about it till after she got married because she was a virgin , but it caused her and her husband to not be intimate for a couple months till it was diagnosed and she was given heavy pain medication. But the husband, disappointed that he’d saved himself for her and turned off by the fact it hurt her so much, became uninterested in her for a long time. The pain medication helped her for the most part but some days the pain was much worse than the medicine could help, and it didn’t help much for spur of the moment romance. Plus between Pregnancies and nursing she couldn’t always take the medicine. The husband became angry about the issue and the wife grew sadder by the day, feeling like a failure to her husband. They never fully worked through it, and had children and the wife learned how to pretend she wasn’t in pain until away from her husband behind closed doors where she would cry for how much it hurt and wishing she wasn’t that way and could make her husband happy. And as if the pain weren’t enough, she began to become disinterested for fear of hurting physically and emotionally each time. She got better at hiding when she was in pain but the problem hadn’t gotten better at all. What would you say to her? What advice would you give?

    • Full

      Not the blogger, but my advice is: If intercourse is painful and makes you want to pull away from your husband I would stop engaging in it. Your husband wants to make you feel good, not hurt you. Be honest with him. It will take a big adjustment to figure out other ways to sexually fulfill each other, but that’s part of the compromise of marriage. Any husband worth his salt would rather have a wife who was excited about having frequent, enjoyable, non penetrative sex than one who was terrified of sex and pulling away from him and seeing it as a painful duty that she tries to hide. Sex should feel good and build love. You can be intimate without penetrative sex but it will take time to move beyond the instinctive defensive reaction from the memory of such intimate pain. (I am not in your shoes where you can reasonably expect to deal with this for the rest of your life, only being able to moderate it and not cure it, but we ripped my perineum back open at 8 weeks pp and it took me about 4 months before I was willing to try PIV again, so I at least can remember the body scared feeling of wanting to be with my husband yet being terrified of the pain.)

      • brit

        Thank you for understanding and for the great advice. It’s helpful to know that other women know what is like and have found ways to please their husbands despite the pain.

    • Sara

      :( You can love on each other in other ways. After our oldest was born we had to wait 6 weeks, which was very hard for us. I’m not sure how to explain this without being too graphic, but, it might help you guys & it didn’t hurt at all. I kept my legs together & he came in between my legs, but, not actually inside me. We both had orgasms this way! There are ways to love on each other without the pain. Try to make time without the kids when you can wear something special for him & you guys can enjoy each other’s bodies. You can use your hands to help him- you know, ‘cum’. It’s not wrong if it’s just between the 2 of you & you are both in agreement. I sure hope you guys can learn to love on each other physically without pain. Don’t be afraid to experiment together & try new things. But, being honest & communicating- in love- is very important. I know we hear all the time how men need respect & women need love, but in your case I think the opposite is also needed. Just lavish your man with love in any other way you can. Does he like his feet rubbed? favorite foods? Spoil him! And, he needs to respect that you are doing the best you can. Trusting each other is one of the most important things in a relationship- in my opinion. You need to be able to trust your man that he will never intentionally do anything to hurt you. And, he needs to be able to trust you. I think it actually hurts guys sometimes when they can’t go all the way- you know- have an orgasm. So, maybe if you guys could talk about it- (I know you’ve talked a lot) but, maybe he could promise to stop whenever you need him to and you could promise him that, if it starts to hurt, you will help him finish with your hands, or between your legs on the outside, etc. You might feel like experimenting with each other is wrong, but it’s not. You belong to each other. Let him touch you & kiss you all over your body & you him! Love is a very powerful thing! I’ll be praying for you for healing.

      • brit

        Thank you for your prayers and good advice!

      • brit

        And i do appreciate the idea very much. I will try that with him, maybe that will help for the times that the pain isn’t helped by the meds. Thanks so much for understanding and for the advice.

  • Kalyn Foggy

    I think this article is really great for the people this will work for. However, I am so tired of seeing sex take such a high priority in marriage. Sex is VERY important, but it always seems to me like that’s the ONE thing in a marriage that the man isn’t willing to sacrifice. I’m seeing a lot of people talk about how a woman’s sex drive drops after kids (for good reasons), and how they can get their wives to have sex with them again. And it’s so disheartening. Sex is NOT a need. In reality, basic human needs are things that need to be met or else they will die. Sex is not a matter of life or death. So what if your wife needs a few (or several) weeks to adjust to being a new mother? That is a very short amount of time when you zoom out and take a look at the big picture. Yes, I know it’s tough and it’ll probably suck, but it will not kill anyone. In fact, I can say from my personal opinion that I would be so relieved to know that my husband wasn’t trying to have sex with me every opportunity he had as I was adjusting to motherhood. With everything else that new moms are pressured to do, having sex with her husband should not be one of them.

    • emma

      Thanks for this! It also makes a woman feel as though that’s all men want them around for. I’ve heard men joke that’s our purpose. It hurts. Having a baby is rough and the woman’s body changes so much, hormones and all. I think women respond to being loved. When you’re treated like someone just to get someone’s rocks off that doesn’t feel like love.

    • Tyler Bryant

      Wrong, sex is a need since, although you won’t die without it, many marriages have died for a lack thereof of it. Otherwise, good comment.

    • Amylou

      Sex is totally a need!! It is a physical need and an emotional need. Sex is a stress reducer, it gets the heart pumping and it connects you on a level that nothing else can. There are all kinds of studies about how sex is so good for you. I used to think like you. I just couldn’t understand why my husband had this “need” ALL. The..TIME. I had three kids in a little over three years so I get the whole your tired thing and you want your body to yourself but you have to make the time. Find the energy! Your husband is a priority. Sex to husbands makes them feel wanted and loved. They can feel rejected just like a woman can. Reverse your role. Put yourself in his shoes. Say you were the one win all the desire and your husband came home from work day after day and rejected you and told you he didn’t have time for you or he was too tired for you. How would you feel? Would you wonder why? We took a parenting class when our boys were little. One of the first lessons was about the relationship between the husband and wife. Matter fact the first 5 lessons had nothing to do with the kids but one of the callenges was to kiss your spouse for a full minute every night. You would be surprised what this can do. They soon turn in to 2 minutes and hen 3,4,5, -10 minute kisses.

  • Neglected Wife

    I love this post! Thank you! Can you (or have you) touch(ed) on the opposite scenario when the husband has no desire for sex and the wife does? I have expressed my needs to my husband that when sex is not frequent I am easily tempted. During the conversation he responds with love and kindness but his actions never change. He doesn’t initiate anymore. I try to initiate a couple times a week but I feel like I am also initiating less for fear or rejection. He hugs me and kisses me, and I know he loves me but I do not think he needs me or wants me anymore. We are young. We’re in our mid 20’s and I feel abnormal to be the one who wants sex the most and my husband has no interest. He tells me I have nothing to worry about as far as cheating or lusting, and most of me believes him while part of me can’t help but wonder if he is being honest. I feel like we are merely room mates or co-parents who live under the same roof. The main thing that sets marriage apart from other relationships is God’s gift of sex. I no longer get to experience this gift as frequently as I would like. When I ask if we can be together, he’ll agree but his expression shows that he is not looking forward to it. What is wrong with me?

    • loves his touch

      I feel the same way. we have only been married for a little over a year. my sex drive is high. I get turned on by simply cuddling on the couch. However he only wants it once a week. its frustrating. I hate to ask for it because then he acts like it is some sort of chore. what is the answer???? when u find out, let me know.

      • 2cents

        Well, as a man with a wife who’s drive is higher than mine at times here’s what I can say.
        First, it’s not that I don’t want her. It’s not a “chore,” at least for me, it’s just that I really can’t “fake it till I make it.” Ya know?
        There’s physical signs. She knows if I’m aroused or not. That’s super embarrassing for me because it makes me feel emasculated to a degree, but my wife understands. I’m usually willing and just need a bit more work before I’m ready to go all the way.
        Over time we’ve learned tricks that help out. There’s usually something that he can’t resist. Kind of a trump card in your sexual playbook. I’m trying not to be graphic here, but for me it’s oral sex. If she does that, we’re good to go in a minute or two and she has no problem with it.
        The other thing I can say is that it comes in cycles for me. There are times (about once a month) where I’m after her daily, and others where we can go a week and I don’t notice. That’s about as far as we go though, we’ll see if that changes with kids.
        Anyway, I hope I helped. I’m no expert, just speaking from the other side of the alter here. :D

  • Dan Bunce

    What about a wife that works at 4 am 5 days a week and is up late every day, and she never talks about sex? We only have sex about twice a month, but we do have three kids. I work 60 hrs a week and don’t get home till about 8 pm. Any advice?

    • wildflower4me

      Look at your finances. Perhaps you could downsize and get rid of some debt so you both have more normal hours.

  • tim

    Dont have kids!
    If your sexual desire drops after child birth, then don’t have a child.

    Your first and most important relationship is to your spouse…or continue to scratch your head about why your marriage is in trouble.

    • wildflower4me

      Very unrealistic and selfish advice. As a spouse you need to concern yourself with serving the other person, not concerned about you being served.

  • ifeellikeasexaddict

    My husband and I have been married for 6 years now, through the years his sex drive has become so low. I however want it all the time, Usually I am the one to initiate it, We have talked about oue situation amd hes even went to the doctor and had his testosterone checked(it was normal) I get to the point that I dont like to ask for it because it starts an argument. Ive explained to him that we have to meet in the middle but it hasnt helped much. We have 2 boys that are school age but for me that hasnt changed anything, my hormones havent changed, I look at him and still want him as much as when we first met. Dont know what else to do, Its so frustrating, I feel as thoigh I have no release.

    • Missy Meier

      Ladies men that are like this…Look for a porn problem. Not saying that’s what it is but that’s what happened to me.

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  • lynn

    I really get tired of the stereotype…a man needs sex every two or three days (as you suggest) and the woman doesn’t? I don’t know who came up with that myth…but I want/need it just as much as my mom and most of my women friends do too. And another myth…we can don’t always need the long freight train…if a man knows what he is doing…quickies work every time. SO tired of the man needs sex more often myth!

    • lynn

      whoops! Meant as much as my man not my mom lol ha ha ha!

    • Dom

      Well as encouraging as this is to hear, it doesn’t seem consistant with the vast majority of women speaking on this page. Most of them seem to say that their husbands desire sex far more than they do.

  • Kay

    Love this blog. Thank you for the clever analogies. My husband and I tried to come up keywords for our children not to know we are asking if we are up for sex tonight. This is great for giving me ideas on how to discuss expectations. Expectations can make or break a relationship and this is an awesome way to keep it light and known what your thinking.
    I could ask my husband if he thinks a Ferrari is better or a pizza truck? Just kidding but that is something we love to do talk about things in code and the kids don’t understand it….at least for now. Lol