One evening I was teaching a seminar on marital intimacy when a young wife approached me with a pained look on her face. “I don’t care if I ever have sex again with my husband! I just don’t enjoy it,” she confessed. She had come to view physical intimacy with her husband as a chore and a burden which only benefited him. His desire for sexual connection was viewed as a demand and she was tired of “putting out.”
What this young wife was missing was not apparent to her in that moment. Her perspective was shaped by messages she received about sex as a teen and an absence of information about her own body and her husband’s more frequent desire. How we think about sex makes a huge difference in whether we enjoy or dread the experience of sexual intimacy with our husband.
In the next five weeks, I will be sharing the most frequently believed myths wives believe about sex and why they rob us of what we were created to enjoy.
Myth #1: It’s all about the guy
Often couples get caught in a rut of the husband pursuing and the wife avoiding sex. A young wife is exhausted after running around with little ones. Sex is the last thing on her “to do list.” “I just don’t want to! It’s all about him wanting it and me not wanting it.” The couple is in a stalemate.
Often the advice given to wives is “Just do it!” Resign yourself to servicing your husband. He’ll be happier and you’ll have a better marriage. In other words, bite the bullet and placate him.
Another version of “Just do it!” is the idea we need to give husband sex whenever, however he wants it, so he doesn’t stray. Let me ask you ladies a question: Do you really believe God would saddle us with an obligation to put out so we can keep our marriages together? Is that all He intends for us- to do our duty? Does that sound like God to you?
Both the stalemate – “I just don’t want to” and the placating- “Just do it” have at their core a false belief- that sex is all about the guy. This notion is fed by things we heard about sex early in life from parents, peers and media. It’s also reinforced when we experience our husbands more frequent interest.
So why did God design sex in the first place? What we can know from the Bible is that God intended sex to be the most intimate form of connection and communication between husband and wife. He calls it “oneness.” It’s about mutual pleasure. It isn’t just about meeting his physical needs. Why else would he provide the woman with a clitoris- the only organ designed with one sole purpose- to bring her pleasure? Surely God meant for women to enjoy the sexual experience. Physical intimacy brings you together like nothing else and has the potential to bring you together emotionally and spiritually as well.
God designed men’s brains in such a way that they are more visually stimulated and think more frequently about sex (the pre-optic area of the hypothalamus that regulates sleep, hunger, sex, is 2.2 times larger in men and they have ten times the amount of testosterone typically than women.) This doesn’t mean they are more sexual or necessarily have more libido but it’s on their minds more. If we can look at this interest as God-given, perhaps we can be less annoyed by it and more receptive. Perhaps God knew we women needed a nudge to help our multi-tasking minds to take a break and enjoy physically connecting with our hubby’s!
From God’s perspective, sex is not something you do to satisfy your husband, but a journey of exploration you take together where you get to know each other’s bodies and emotional selves and share in pleasure. It’s not all about the guy!
Love to hear your comments and questions on Myth #1!
Stay tuned for Myth #2!