He Wants to use the Entire Playground

March 14, 2014

in Uncategorized

When Lori and I speak, we often use the playground metaphor to talk about sexuality. The playground has a fence. Things on the other side of the fence are unsafe or wrong. Things inside the fence are good and we can play on all those things.

For those who follow Jesus, God defines the playground fence. Anything that involves other people is outside the fence. There are other limitations (we have written about that on TMB), but there are still a great many toys inside the fence on which we can play. 

Playground © Apolonia | freedigitalphotos.net

In our experience, men want to play on more of the toys than women do. There are exceptions, but there seems to be a common gender difference. His natural sense of adventure causes him want to explore everything. Women are generally more reserved, and more influenced by negative cultural and religious influence.

Bottom Line: Your husband probably wants to play in more of the playground than you do. Please do not blame this on his porn use or past sin. While those things do have an effect, men free of those influences also want to explore most of the playground. His desire to play on all the toys is part of being a man; it is part of how God made him. 

His Enthusiasm Can Be Annoying

Men hit marriage ready to explore the sexual playground. Try this; try that; can we hang upside down for this one? This feels frenetic to many women, which gets in the way of enjoying sex. Arguments and hard feeling are common, and sex can become a major source of frustration.

How do you get him to slow down? How do you get him to stop pushing for more and different? 

  1. Accept him and his desires – so long as they are not sin. Accepting does not mean doing. You can agree the jungle-gym is okay and still not want to play on it. I understand agreeing it is okay means he will press you even more – see #2. Accepting what he wants tells him you do not think he is horrible or nasty. This will go a long way to healing the “you are a sex monster” wound most men have. Healing that wound will help your sex life and your marriage. Being the one who helped him heal that wound will make you special.
  2. Be honest with him about your limitations. Tell him you need to focus on a few things to be able to enjoy sex. Tell him pushing you to do new things makes you not want to have sex at all.
  3. Give him hope. Tell him you may reach a point where you will be able to try other things. Admit it will take far longer than he wants, but promise you will work on it.
  4. Really work on trying new things. Be willing to stretch, but do not allow it to hurt your existing enjoyment of sex. When you are willing to try something new, tell him you do not know how you will feel about it, but you are willing to try. After you try something ask for a bit of time to process, then discuss it.
  5. Be willing to do something just for him. I am not suggesting you do something that feels wrong or totally gross. If you do not enjoy something but it does not offend you, consider doing it for him on occasion. It is a gift, something you do out of love, no strings attached. If you do this, let him know you are giving him a gift, and ask if he is okay with that. Explain you do not enjoy the act, but you enjoy his enjoying it.
  6. Pray, pray, pray. You both have deep feelings and past wounds in your sexuality. You both have the potential to do things out of selfishness, or avoid things out of fear. Pray both of you will gain wisdom and become selfless.

~ Paul – I’m XY and I love to explore! 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay Dee - SexWithinMarriage.com March 14, 2014 at 4:04 am

Paul, I think this is my favorite post of yours in a long time. Great job. I may “borrow” that playground metaphor from time to time (with credit).
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Paul Byerly March 14, 2014 at 11:02 am

Thanks. It is a very useful metaphor we’ve been using a long time. Use it as you see fit. ;-)

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Steve March 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm

How do i get her to speed up? Accept more of the play ground… If God made me this way it isn’t so I can learn to not be who he made me. My wife and I are free. Yes there are things that she is not open too but I test the limit on those things periodically to see if its changed. Guess what? It changes.

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Lori Byerly March 14, 2014 at 8:39 pm

I think one of the kindest things any spouse can do is to model something for their spouse. Y’all want your wives to try new things in the bedroom? Are you open to trying new things in other areas of your life? Do you grow and change? Show her how!

Paul has always been an encouragement to me. He’s daring and is willing to change. I watch how he handles failure and endurance and fears and any number of things that play into the challenge of growing and changing. I would credit his example as the heart of my ability to risk and challenge my own sexual issues. He hasn’t asked anything of me that he hasn’t been willing to do himself.

That, and honestly, Steve, do you really think it’s respectful to “speed someone up” when they are not ready to run? Think of the times you’ve been pushed to do something when you don’t feel ready (or when you’re not sure you want to do that something). It’s OK to check in now and then, communicate what you want and need, but don’t ask her to do something she’s not ready for.

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Bonnie @ Love, Marriage and Sex March 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm

I think that, if women will accept the desires of their husbands the way you described (not meaning doing) it would go a long way to finding out what the wife WILL do. I will swing on the swing set with you but we can’t go too high. I don’t want to slide down the slide but I’ll sit at the top. The first step is understanding that sexual desires are normal and natural and then modifying as needed to make them fit with the preferences of BOTH spouses. Great post!
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Paul Byerly March 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Good thoughts.
If he can respect her limits she can work on pushing those limits. If she feels he does not respect her limits, she will set even more restrictive limits to protect herself.

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Mr. Earl March 16, 2014 at 7:12 am

Well said-as sex goes , so goes life. The freshness of new and the willingness to change
Is a confirmation of life! The scriptural model of the Ideal Bride/Lover says, “…I will give
You my love [the Hebrew is “loves”]. The mandrakes [esteemed as an aphrodisiac, something
that increases their joy] send out their fragrance, and at OUR [not just, his] door is EVERY delicacy, BOTH NEW and OLD, that I have STORED UP for YOU, my lover.” Song of Songs 7:12-13, caps added. This bride is so enlivened and secure in his love that she even initiates
the use of new playground equipment! May all of us husbands love our bride that she stores up and surprises us with new delights, as well as old hits!

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Mybeloved March 18, 2014 at 6:44 pm

This is such a beautiful and inspiring post. I encouraged me to. Take some huge steps towards my husband. Thank you is much of sharing your incredible insight.

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