Help Me Explain Your Sexuality to Him

December 4, 2015

in Uncategorized

Two years ago I ran three posts over on The Generous Husband trying to explain to men how women experience and think about sex. I want to redo the posts early next year, and I thought you ladies could help me improve them. I’ll post the content of the three posts below so you don’t have to chase them down.

The media lies about sex © Paul H. Byerly

My question is what do you want your husband to understand about your sexuality? Not just the physical part of sex, but the whole thing. What totally non-sexual parts of your relationship with him and your life, in general, affect your sexuality? What do you fear? What do you secretly desire. What do you wish he would do, but you’re too afraid to ask? What do you wish he’d stop doing, but are afraid to ask?

Hit the comments and teach me so I can teach other men. (And feel free to tell me what I got right and wrong in the posts below!)

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Understanding Her Sexual Reality

Sex is easy for most men – we desire it strongly, a bit of nudity is enough to get us aroused, and the odds of us climaxing are very high. For most women, sex is far less easy, and far less guaranteed. Imagine with me that sex for you was more like this:

  • It takes 5 to 15 minutes of foreplay to get a decent erection. Except that…
  • About 1 time in 8 you can’t get an erection, no matter what she does.
  • What gets you hot varies from one time to the next.
  • During intercourse, a sudden noise or a distracting thought can cause you partially or completely lose your erection.
  • Sometimes you can’t orgasm, even though you want to and feel the need. You get close, but then you lose it.
  • When you do orgasm, it can be anything from mind-blowing to “I think I did, but I’m not sure.”

If sex was that way for you, might you think or feel some of the following?

  • I’m tired and there’s a good chance I’ll get really turned on then not be able to climax.
  • Is she wondering what is taking me so long?
  • Does she think I’m broken?
  • Why would I want to put myself through the frustration and embarrassment?
  • We should wait until I am less stressed so I have a better chance of getting turned on.

Most women struggle with at least one of the things on the first list. Some women struggle with most or all of them. Do the thoughts and feelings on the second list make sense when you understand what’s behind them? In particular, she’s afraid she is broken and she’s afraid you will get upset with her for being broken.


Help Her Understand Normal Female Sexuality

A reader going by amyhannaford65 had a great comment on yesterday’s post. After affirming sometimes sex seems like a lot of effort with no return, she said, “I will say that my husband is a selfless lover and always, always wants to see me experience pleasure during sex. It’s mostly just me that lets the frustration of having a harder time climaxing influence how I see the sexual encounter.”

I bring this up because I want to make it clear I’m not attacking men here. I’m not saying wives fail to enjoy sex because men are selfish lovers. For most women, the biggest issues are not the struggles she has with her body; the struggles of her mind are what makes sex difficult to impossible. She sees how easy sex is for her husband, and she thinks it should be just as easy for her. Porn, romance novels, movies, and television all tell her it should be easy for her, so clearly something is wrong with her. When it comes to sex, she’s broken. She’s not at all sure she can be “fixed” and she doesn’t feel it’s fair for her husband to have to put up with her being broken. Even when he’s very interested in making sex good for her, she doesn’t feel she has the right to expect him to put “so much” time and energy into her pleasure.

The first thing you can do is help her understand she’s not broken. Rather, she has been lied to about female sexuality. Here are some truths: 

  • She is female, and women’s sexuality is very different from men’s sexuality.
  • Women in porn etc. fake orgasm, arousal, interest, and comfort. What’s shown in media usually has nothing to do with reality.
  • It is normal for a woman to feel no desire when sex starts. Some women rarely or never feel arousal until they have been stimulated.
  • It is normal for a woman to need 20 or more minutes of foreplay.
  • It is normal for a woman to need stimulation for 20 minutes (or more) to reach orgasm.
  • It is normal to get distracted and lose arousal.
  • It is normal to get very close to orgasm then lose it.
  • It is normal to need desperately to have an orgasm and struggle to get there.
  • It is normal to find it difficult or impossible to orgasm during intercourse.

Of course, all of these things vary from woman to woman and from time to time for each woman. One of the other norms for female sexuality is extreme variety.

The other thing your wife needs to understand is how important it is to you that she enjoy sex. Not so she will have more of it, but because you want her to enjoy it as much as you enjoy it. Help her know her pleasure is important to you. Explain sex is best for you when she enjoys it, and the more she enjoys it, the better it is for you. I know this is true for the majority of husbands because I’ve talked to many men about this. For the vast majority of men, sex is a couple activity, and if it’s “just for him” very often it’s not good for him.


Giving Her What She Needs for Great Sex

I’ve been expecting some lady to post to the comments of one of my last two posts saying, “I’m not like that!’ Those who study sexuality have found a small percentage of women’s sexuality is very similar to typical male sexuality: strong drive, easily aroused, easily reach climax (in fact a very few women suffer from the female version of premature ejaculation, reaching orgasm far sooner than they want). I’ve not seen anyone offer a good reason why this is so, but the consensus is women have no choice in the matter, and cannot learn to be different.

If your wife didn’t identify with the things I said in Understanding Her Sexual Reality or Help Her Understand Normal Female Sexuality, you can skip this post. For the other 95 or so percent, read on.

Give Her Time

She needs more time than you need for every aspect of sex. You need to give her all the time she needs, but you also need to convince her that you are eager to do this. She needs to know you see giving her sexual pleasure as a better use of the time than anything else you would do with the time.

Part of giving her time is making sure she never feels rushed. If she normally needs 25 to 35 minutes from undressing to orgasmic bliss, then don’t have sex unless you have at least 45 minutes. This doesn’t mean you have to give up quickies, as long as she’s okay with not having a climax on those occasions. Some women find a morning quickie great foreplay for making love that night.

Find a Sure Thing

Imagine the frustration of being very aroused but unable to climax. You want to do everything you can to help your wife find a sure way to have a climax when she needs one. This could be oral sex, manual sex, or use of a vibrator. It might even be her doing it herself while you kiss or hold her. Figure out the surest way for her to climax and then practice until it’s as close to a guarantee as possible. If she feels confident she can climax when she really needs to, she’ll find it easier to be open to sex. She may also find it easier to try new things if she has a sure-fire fallback method.

Give Her Control

The more control she has, the easier it will be for her. Since sex is easy for you, please be willing to sacrifice for her in this way. Put her needs ahead of your needs, and her pleasure ahead of your pleasure. (You will learn that in sex giving is better than receiving!)

  • Let her tell you when she has had enough foreplay. Don’t ask, don’t hint, just keep going until she tells you she’s ready to move on.
  • Let her decide if she’s going to climax before intercourse, after intercourse, or is going to try to climax during intercourse.
  • If she says it is time to move to her sure way of reaching climax, do that immediately. Don’t let frustration set in!
  • If it’s not working and she says she’s not going to climax, accept that without argument. Later you can tell her you were more than willing to keep going. Let her know you will stop when she feels she needs to stop, but she should never feel she must stop because of you.
  • If she tells you to go ahead and climax, do so – and enjoy it. This will help free her of guilt she’s ruining sex for you.
  • If she wants to try to orgasm during intercourse, let her choose the position.
  • If she offers something just for you, say yes, enjoy it to the fullest, and thank her afterwards. Saying no feels like you are trying to manipulate her into having sex for both of you. It doesn’t matter if this is your intent or not, it will feel this way to her and that will add pressure to her feelings about sex.

Make Her Comfortable

Being comfortable and at ease will make sex easier for her.

  • Make the room temperature what’s good for her. This will probably be a bit warm for you, but you being warm won’t interfere with your sexuality nearly as much as her being cold will interfere with her sexuality.
  • Let her wear socks. In one study, researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands found 80% of women wearing socks had an orgasm while only 50% of the barefooted women reached climax.
  • Let her wear whatever else she wants, or agree to dim lights or total dark. Yes, she needs to get past those things, but let her learn to want and enjoy sex first.
  • Watch what you say – certain words or phrases can turn her off. A good discussion of this away from the bedroom would be a great idea.
  • Be sure you don’t stink! Her sense of smell is much stronger than your sense of smell, and she’s especially sensitive to body odour. A good shower very shortly before sex is always a good idea. Also brush and/or use mouthwash.

Bottom Line

Yes, I’m telling you to cater a great deal to her sexually. I’m asking you to put your desires on the back burner for a while so she can discover the pleasures of sex. This is the right thing to do, and it is the wise thing to do. If she learns how great sex can be, you have many great nights ahead of you!

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

IntimacySeeker December 4, 2015 at 7:17 am

Immediate thoughts here–no particular order, but related to emotional safety, a crucial element in our sexuality:

Fear that because of hubby’s wiring to notice other women and be sexually aroused by visual stimuli, she can never be “enough” or “exclusive.” Feels she’s part of the harem in his visual rolodex.
Fear of intimacy due to anticipatory grief (the closer they are, the worse the pain when he dies.)
Fear of hubby making fun of her, and/or boasting about his ability to please her. Feeling exposed, ridiculed, jeopardized, compromised.
Memories of trauma surfacing involuntarily.
Feeling degraded when hubby participates in and/or does not speak against jokes and such that disrespect women.
Hypervigilence–always watching for the next emotional disappointment, and resulting anxiety and exhaustion.
Associating sexual pleasure with emotional pain.
Associating HIS sexual pleasure with HER emotional pain.
Evidence of his increased sexual pleasure resulting from her physical pain.


K December 4, 2015 at 7:47 am

Yes! Well said, IntimacySeeker – especially Rolodex, fear of ridicule (seriously, when y’all chuckle when we wear lingerie it is deflating and guarantees we won’t try anything new for a long time), feeling degraded, and hyper-vigilance.

I think the hyper-vigilance is a bunch my issue and the thoughts I let into my mind. But it’s easier not to be hyper-vigilant when I feel secure (because he hasn’t been commenting about women or because he does seem engaged, etc.)


Paul Byerly December 4, 2015 at 9:39 am

@K – Much of what enters into this is going to be about the wife’s issues, but that does not mean they are irrelevant. When a man says “It wouldn’t matter if she got over it” he may be right, but until she does “get over it” it’s a part of who she is and it’s going to affect her sexuality.
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Paul Byerly December 4, 2015 at 9:37 am

@IntimacySeeker – All good stuff. How he reacts to jokes jumps out at me. Same for any situation which puts any woman at risk in any way. I think how a man reacts to these either makes him look good or bad in his wife’s eyes – I doubt there is a way to get past it without looking better or worse.
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So hurt December 22, 2015 at 9:03 am

Totally agree! My husband often uses the word “rape@ in an inappropriate way and it’s so upsetting! The library “raped” him of $.30 in fines, the car repair shop “raped” him by overcharging him, etc. Also watching SNL and laughing at the way they degrade women is a total turn off!


K December 4, 2015 at 7:37 am

Wow. Good stuff!

I’d add:

*Faster, harder, more intense does not work for a woman who is slow-to-warm-up. (It may work on some occasions, but only when she’s already revved up.) It makes her more anxious. Plus, it gives the impression that you’re trying to check something off your to-do list. Generally slower, lighter, more delicate is more effective.

*While it seems a lot of things men experience throughout the day may increase his desire to get naked later, the things women experience throughout the day tend to decrease her desire/ability. When you comment on attractive women, when she is aware you have taken care of things on your own, when you flirt with others but not with her – these things actively decrease her desire/ability to say yes, initiate, or climax later.

*If we don’t orgasm (especially if we were close but missed the boat), be sure to pursue us more, not less (later that day, the next day, etc). We are in need of more intimacy, not less, and it is hard to ask for it because not only did you spend a lot of time and we didn’t get the job done (“something is wrong with me”), but now we need you to spend even more time, when you’re busy with other things and already satisfied. I know you don’t pursue us because you don’t want to put more pressure on us (“how disappointed will she be is she still can’t orgasm!”) but the opposite approach is better. Keep pursuing. Even if we keep not climaxing. The increased intimacy will build credits for the future.

*Show us you love us and care for us and find us sexy. Let us know we turn you on, not just at the moment but throughout the day. We see the women (in movies, ads, daily life) who turn men on – who turn you on. We’re not them. Not always, but often when climax doesn’t happen it’s because we saw that distant look in your eyes and imagined you were thinking of someone else, or an image of the woman in the movie popped into our heads and we felt deflated and not good enough. The antidote is to stay engaged. Be there with us. Make eye contact. Tell us you find us sexy (all the time – not just as a way to push yourself over the edge). Make us believe that you enjoy our body. Show us that it’s US you want to be with, that we’re not interchangeable with (or a substitute for) any ol’ woman or image.


Paul Byerly December 4, 2015 at 9:44 am

@K – Sex is one place where the golden rule fails – doing to your spouse what you want rarely works. The struggle is getting men to understand this. (Yeah, women too, but men seem slower on this one.)
I think ongoing connection and sharing of desire and how desirable a man finds his wife are another thing we miss. Don’t just tell her she’s sexy when you want it, tell her all the time,
Paul Byerly recently posted…Pride and Prejudice in MarriageMy Profile


So hurt December 22, 2015 at 9:05 am

Wow! All so good and true!


So hurt December 22, 2015 at 9:06 am

Wow! So good and true!


libl December 4, 2015 at 9:21 am

I wish he realized that I love revealing and giving my body to him, but when he doesn’t guard his eyes I just want to hide under 5 flannel granny gowns and a chastity belt and it takes every ounce of gumption to have sex anyway.

I wish he realized how he interacts with our children either shuts me down or revs me up. When he is dismissing or mean, my tiger mama comes out and I want to protect my kids and be against him. When he is a loving, involved father, I want to love on him so hard.

When he hides in the bedroom in front of the tv while I am up for hours trying to catch up on basic household chores, or having to do his work because he already fell asleep and we need a warm house, then I want to sleep on the couch and not join him in bed.

When he disrespects women in general. It just is a big turn off.

I wish he considered these feelings I have rather than brushing them off as me being too sensitive.


Paul Byerly December 4, 2015 at 9:47 am

@libl – It’s so easy for men to disconnect from other sexual images they see. What we fail to understand is it’s not nearly as easy for our wives to disconnect from them.
How he treats the kids is one I’ve heard from many women, and another one men seem to miss.
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libl December 4, 2015 at 11:29 am

I forgot to add that I wish my sexual preferences, desires, and needs were considered. They are never part of the equation unless they fit his narrow allowance…which only serves him. He honestly thinks I should be satisfied and turned on by his wanting to have sex with me.


Paul Byerly December 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm

@libl – Well you wanting to have sex with him would be more than enough for him…
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libl December 4, 2015 at 3:13 pm

I mean in lieu of an orgasm…..

That would be like me wanting to have sex with him, doing so, and then dismounting before he had his orgasm.

Except being a woman, it takes more work to get my juices going, work he isn’t willing to put the effort into, so I should just be satisfied that he wants to have sex with me.


Paul Byerly December 7, 2015 at 9:35 am

@libl – Ah I see. So sorry.
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Rebecca Watson December 4, 2015 at 12:16 pm

What a great idea for a blog post!

One thing many men don’t understand is that women are wired very differently than men when it comes to sex.

Male sexuality tends to be spontaneous, whereas a woman’s tends to be more responsive. This can make a woman feel ‘broken’. But we’re not broken, just different.

We can get there, but we need a little more time and we need something from him to respond to.

When my husband is a strong leader and shows passionate desire for me, specifically, not just sex in general, then I am much more able to feel desire.

If he shows enthusiasm for my body and lets me know what he loves about it, it helps me feel comfortable in my own skin.

If he is angry, belittling, dismissive, passive-aggressive, or in a hurry, I can’t get there … no matter how much I might want to.

When he’s at his best, he has the power to make me weak. But I need his help and his patience.
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Paul Byerly December 5, 2015 at 9:20 am

@Rebecca Watson – Great comments – thanks much!
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Kay December 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Oh this is all so good. I still really struggle with feeling like I “take too long” and am scared he is getting sick of foreplay or that it’s all just too much work and he’d rather take care of things himself. (That’s not the case anymore but was in the past during a rough patch and I am still insecure about it.)

I wish he could understand that interruptions do send me back to start and it’s not a personal affront to him. If the baby starts crying, I am back to square 1, even if I don’t have to go to her. And “She will settle down in a second, just ignore it” is not possible for me even if it is true. And even if I “ignore it,” I’m not really ignoring it, I am instead trying to figure out how to get him to finish as soon as possible so I can go nurse the baby. I am jealous that dad-mode doesn’t trump sex-mode for him, but mom-mode does trump sex for me and I know I am not alone here. I have to start over and will not enjoy one second of it if I think my kids need something.

I second the kids/housework angle, that I don’t have any energy left for sex if he was watching tv while I put all three kids to bed by myself after cooking and cleaning up dinner all alone too.

Similarly, I need verbal foreplay. I need to purge what is on my mind or else that too will distract me from sex. Please make time for verbal foreplay and consider it part of sex, yes, even if that means I am venting about the six year olds temper tantrum. It is foreplay, I promise. Once it is out I can focus on sex.

And at least this girl would benefit from more words of affirmation–before, during, but especially after sex. I need a few minutes after to have him hold me. Cliche, I know, but if I come back from the bathroom after cleaning up and he is either already on his phone or already snoring, I feel like a piece of meat. Tell me how amazing that was and how much you love being with me, give me a big kiss, and then you may roll over and go to sleep. I don’t need much here. But I do need to know that I am safe with him afterwards because sex and all the vulnerability that goes with it is SCARY, and without that reassurance, I don’t want to be vulnerable again any time soon.


Paul Byerly December 6, 2015 at 12:12 pm

@Kay- Back to zero is a great one, because men don’t function that way.
I like the idea of verbal foreplay, but if I use those words men will think “Talk dirty” which is not the desire. I see what you are saying as being like clearing the table so you can set it for a meal. What we think of as foreplay without the verbal first is like trying to set the table on top of all the things sitting on it. Bad plan!
Aftreplay is another good one. Far to many men see it as optional at best.
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IntimacySeeker December 7, 2015 at 6:54 am

“But I do need to know that I am safe with him afterwards because sex and all the vulnerability that goes with it is SCARY, and without that reassurance, I don’t want to be vulnerable again any time soon.”

@Kay Thank you for mentioning that sex is scary. Much less now than before, but often there is an element of trauma for me, and I’m tempted to turn away and curl up in the fetal position with my arms crossed over my heart, in a nearly catatonic state.

Words of affirmation are indeed important. For me, words of affirmation are to sex what fireworks are to sparklers.


Jillian December 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

I think it’s interesting that so many people have focused on the ‘not being able to orgasm part’. And while I agree that can be frustrating, I don’t feel like I have to have one every single time. Really. It’s ok. Now I’ll qualify that by saying that I have an incredibly generous and patient husband, and he tries really hard to make sure that I do climax. I know he is willing to try for another hour if that’s what it takes, and he wants every sexual experience to be fulfilling for me. The fact that he really tried, the fact that he really wants me to have an orgasm is good enough for me. And I hope he knows that he isn’t a failure if I don’t climax every single time, sometimes it just isn’t going to happen. The effort he puts in makes me feel intimate with him.

I envy the abandon with which he wanders around naked. It just doesn’t even seem to be something that he even thinks about. No one is really eager to share things they are ashamed of/embarrassed about. And unfortunately, I am a embarrassed/ashamed… I wish so much that I wasn’t. And academically I know that I am a young, attractive woman and that my body is amazing (I’ve made two humans, from scratch!) But it is really hard for me remember that on a moment to moment basis. And it’s even harder to remember that when I’m not covered. And I really struggle with certain positions where I feel exposed (ex: me on my knees, him coming in from behind, having my larger-than I’d care for posterior in the front and center of his gaze is the least sexy thing imaginable.)


Paul Byerly December 6, 2015 at 12:16 pm

@Jillian – I regularly tell men some women don’t need or even want to climax every time. Usually when I do this a woman comments how wrong and selfish this is on my part. Fact remains some women do feel as you do, and if a man married to such a woman insists on her having one every time it’s going to cause problems!
Body image is something we men just don’t get. We think we do, but because we don’t live with it 24/7 we really can’t. Still trying to find a way to explain it to men. BTW, praying for you to get your heart to where your mind is on this. It’s possible, and it’s so much better for both you and your hubby.
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J December 4, 2015 at 4:57 pm

One thing I’d encourage at least for those of child-bearing age is: men really need to learn about their wife’s cycle and how that affects her sexuality. By tracking her cycle (with her permission and cooperation…if done in secret it could potentially backfire) and learning when she ovulates, etc., he can really unlock some secrets to great sex. For example, the times around ovulation are when she’s most likely to be open to sex but the time right around her period you may need to take more time and really warm her up. There are apps available that take a lot of the guessing game out of it. PinkPad is one, but there are several others. Become a student of her body and the marvelous and mysterious way that God designed her.


Paul Byerly December 6, 2015 at 12:20 pm

@J – I’m with you on knowing her cycle. I have a long-standing article on this on TGH – Her Cycle – how to track it, and how it affects every aspect of her life (including her sexuality)
I tell men they should know without having to look it up about where she is, and how she feels because of that. This is good for sex, but the benefits go way beyond for her and him.
I need to track down several tracking apps and share them with the guys.
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Anonymous December 8, 2015 at 9:04 am

Seconded! I’ve noticed this so much more since having kids. It seems like before, I was just randomly grumpy. I’ve started paying attention and it’s really helped us both understand a little more about why I feel the way I feel when I feel it.


KC December 5, 2015 at 7:04 am

The moment when I first read the line “Men need to have sex to feel loved … Women need to feel loved to have sex” was a lightbulb moment for me, as I suspect it might be for some men. I could never explain why I shrank away from my husband’s more aggressive advances – then I realized that he may be trying to say “I want to show you how much I love you,” but if he didn’t use body language that was gentle and loving and romantic, all I heard was “I’m horny” and it made me feel used.


Paul Byerly December 6, 2015 at 12:20 pm

@KC – I hear you, thanks!
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J December 7, 2015 at 3:54 am

These comments make me sad. Why did you ladies marry these men? I’d never put up with it and you shouldn’t either. My husband and I have had some of these issues and I’ve set him straight on how to treat me. You need to do the same.


Paul Byerly December 7, 2015 at 9:37 am

@J Al of us, men and women, should be clear about our wants and needs. Unfortunately, we’ve been taught to do otherwise, and women more so than men.There is also the problem of not knowing what we actually want, which is more common for men.
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J December 7, 2015 at 11:28 am

It makes absolutely no sense to me how grown adults can’t know what they want. But I’ve been known to be masculine in my line of thinking. More women should be like me and they’d have less to worry about.


Paul Byerly December 8, 2015 at 11:30 am

@J – I’d say most of us don’t know what we want, even those of us who think we do. Much of what we say we want is based on cultural standards, and it’s NOT just the chruch. In the ewo5rld men and women have sex they don’t really want to have because society tells them they should want it.
Dumping all the lies and garbage takes time and a lot of effort.
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Me December 7, 2015 at 6:55 am

Paul, first Ithink it’s great that you think like a man, but are willing to listen and try to understand women. That perspective is so helpful to both sexes.

I agree with the visual “Rolodex” thing. I wish that “Christian” author had never written about it. I guess she thought she was being helpful? But I was much happier not knowing about it, not having that constant thought in my head. Now my poor husband wonders why I (who used to love sex with him and being sexy, etc.) isn’t really into it so much anymore. See, I used to think he was enjoying being with me. That I was enough. That I was special to him. Now that I’ve been made aware that I am just one of any number of women in his “Rolodex” – it has lost its specialness. I spend most of the time wondering “who is he thinking about tonight? Who is he pretending I am this time?” IT IS AWFUL.
I’ve asked him, and he tries to assure me he wants to be with me, that he loves me, and is present with me. But I’m not stupid. The authors chapter about the visual “Rolodex” has ruined intimacy for me. And couple my insecurity with the fact that he can’t avoid seeing much more perfect women everywhere whether he wants to or not – TV, billboards, magazine covers even in the grocery stores… And I am left feeling like I am nothing more to him than a living “rubber doll”. And that is a horrible, horrible, horrible feeling.
And we are young. How sad that all I have to look forward to, instead of a lifetime of intimacy with my husband, is a lifetime of being a fill-in for the perfect women in his imagination. Kind of makes me feel worthless.


Paul Byerly December 7, 2015 at 9:40 am

@Me – I too wish the Rolodex had never been put out there. Among other things, I find how it’s understood to be less than accurate, at least for some men. My Rolodex is indeed full, but it’s all my wife in there because she crowded out all the other images a very long time ago. I know I am not alone in that.
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libl December 8, 2015 at 2:57 am

A popular radio marriage personality put out a video on why men look and why we don’t have to worry about it. Instead of the rolodex idea, he said that once out of sight, out of mind. Men don’t retain that sexual imagery.

So, which is it? Rolodex or nothing? As with pretty much anything, I am guessing it is somewhere in the middle.

The average man who guards his eyes and has a happy marriage probably does let the Victoria’s Secret poster in the mall disappear from memory, especially when his wife steps out of the shower in front of him. Other men may struggle with or choose to create a folder in their brain windows and fill it.

While I cannot control whether or not my husband has or chooses to fill his mind with other women, as hard as it is, I choose to help him fill it with me. So far, he accepts that and loves feasting his eyes on me. I do fear that some day, because he isn’t careful, he will no longer find me attractive. I know that won’t mean I am not attractive or worthy, but I know it will negatively affect our marriage. When a man spends nearly every day absorbing the very young, fit, and well made up female body, it must have an impact as to how he sees his normal, every day, aging wife, no matter how well she cares for herself.


IntimacySeeker December 8, 2015 at 6:47 am

“that once out of sight, out of mind”

I have a co-worker who assured me, “we don’t retain images; we don’t need to because we can access them in our culture immediately if we want to.”

Interesting perspectives.


Paul Byerly December 8, 2015 at 11:31 am

Doing a post on this in a couple of weeks.
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Kay December 8, 2015 at 8:34 am

I am one of the women who found the Rolodex parallel extremely helpful, but I understand that my husband has a lot of control over what he does with any “pop-ups.” He has been very helpful in explaining how it works (at least for him). I also understand it more ever since having postpartum depression and anxiety and experiencing what are called intrusive thoughts. They are unwanted disturbing thoughts that pop into our minds that we cannot control. For example, some women are terrified of walking down the stairs with their child because they see a disturbing vision of themselves dropping the baby or other horrific pop-ups. (For me it was the bathtub.) What matters is what you DO about those thoughts. My husband actively seeks to immediately shut down any thought of another woman that pops into his head. He says it is easier the more he has practiced it now and the more he avoids unwanted “photo ops,” as he calls them (such as the beach, for example). He blocks those pictures but allows himself to dwell on the pop-ups of me and enjoy them, which makes those more frequent and the unwanted ones less frequent. He says it helps tremendously that I give him plenty of “photo ops” in the bedroom and am not one to stay under the covers with the lights off. Maybe this is different for different men, but he felt that chapter in this author’s book was accurate for him. I couldn’t control my intrusive thoughts about harm coming to our children and he cannot control if other women pop up in his head, but we both had to learn to train ourselves to shut those thoughts down as soon as they pop up, and with practice, it gets easier and the pop-ups are less frequent. For me they are gone altogether now that my hormones have regulated. I feel tremendous compassion for my husband because blocking those constant pop-ups sounds exhausting. And I feel honored by his effort to avoid images of other women and choosing to replace unwanted images with images of me. Those others do become out of sight, out of mind.


Me December 8, 2015 at 8:58 am

@Kay, that’s sweet. I’m glad you can look at it that way. I guess what I still struggle with is, if me husband loves me as much as he claims to, why am I never enough? Why doesn’t he ever “check” me out? Why does every attractive woman catch his eye? Men claim that when they love their wives, she is more attractive to them than any lingerie model. If that were true, then why the pull? How am I supposed to deal with knowing he desires these other women, may be replacing me in his mind with them, and for some reason, I never get looked at with the admiration seemingly every other woman on earth does. When I’m around, he does seem to try to avert his eyes, but if he truly loved me, why would he have to try? Take Paul. He loves Lori so much that this isn’t an issue for them. Because their love is real. I long to be loved like that.


Kay December 8, 2015 at 11:06 am

If hubby is blatantly checking other women out with no self control, that is a problem. HIS problem. I’m sorry if he is dishonoring you in that way if he is. At least for my husband, I think the pull to look will always be there, but he “has made a covenant with his eyes,” to quote Job, not to look. God said that Job was a righteous man, and yet even he had to make a covenant with himself not to look at other women. That means, in my opinion, that many men are tempted to look and even Job himself felt that pull, but he decided not to give into that pull. I don’t think the pull to look is wrong, just what they do after it. You said your husband averts his eyes (at least when he is with you); that means he is choosing YOU. He is honoring you in that moment. Maybe the pull to look goes away with time (I’d love to hear you weigh in, Paul), but at least so far it has not for my husband. It just has gotten easier for him to shut it down when it happens.

Not sure if this will help or hurt, but the book Through a Man’s Eyes goes into detail into the science behind the pull to look. The science so far shows that it is a gut level reaction when they spot an attractive woman that initially bypasses the brain altogether, but in the next second the brain kicks in and the guy can choose to keep looking or to look away. A man that seeks to honor his wife will look away.

I’ve struggled with not feeling like I am enough too, though, especially when I found out my husband was masturbating despite frequent sex. We had some hard conversations and have worked through a lot. He has stopped (as far as I know) and we currently have the best sex life we’ve ever had. I think that goes to show the power behind when a man chooses to direct all of his sexual energy toward his wife. I personally am in the process of letting go of “being enough.” I mean, I actively try to build an amazing sex life with my husband, one that I hope is deeply satisfying and meaningful to him as much as it is to me. But if he is going to choose other things, that is HIS problem, not mine. If he doesn’t choose me to be enough for him, that is between him and God. It’s been a good journey. He is (hopefully) choosing me to be enough, and I am at peace knowing that I *am* enough. The rest is his problem, not mine. Does that make any sense?

Plus, what does it mean to be “enough?” I am a words of affirmation girl and I don’t think my husband gives me enough of them, but is that his issue or mine? I’d say both. Yes, our marriage would benefit from more words of affirmation (just as many marriages would benefit from more sex), but ultimately we have a God-sized hole in our hearts. My husbands words will never be enough if I am not filling myself first with the Word of God. Sex will never be enough for a man if he is not seeking fulfillment first in God. As a wife, we cannot satisfy completely. We aren’t perfect. And it’s not our job. It has been SO freeing to realize that I am not enough for my husband and he is not enough for me either. That sounds weird, but it frees us to just be ourselves and grow in the grace of God, which in turn helps our marriage to flourish. I am no longer looking to my hubby to satisfy what he ultimately cannot satisfy. Love & War by the Eldridge’s have a great chapter about this that was life changing for me. (Sorry so long; this is what God has been teaching me lately and I get a wee bit excited once I get going.) Anyway, just some food for thought. You *aren’t* enough. And that’s okay!!


Paul Byerly December 9, 2015 at 6:09 pm

@K “Maybe the pull to look goes away with time (I’d love to hear you weigh in, Paul), but at least so far it has not for my husband.”

I doubt the biologic function ever goes away, but there is a lot more to it. I don’t just avoid looking to honour Lori, I really don’t want to see it. I find myself looking away ahead of time because I know I’m about to be offered a look at something I don’t want to see. I don’t always get a warning, but when I do I generally look away. And it’s not really a conscious effort anymore, it’s become more of a reflex. It’s like a second reflex after the “look” reflex caused by how God made me. Not that I’m perfect, but I see less and less all the time.

Fortunately, Lori understands I don’t want to see these things. I find them an invasion, not a thrill. I understand how they limit my sex life with my dear wife, and that upsets me. I’d say me seeing something upsets me more than it does Lori.
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Paul Byerly December 8, 2015 at 11:33 am

@Kay – I like the analogy you draw. It’s wrong to assume a man likes having these images pop up – many find them intrusive and disturbing.
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IntimacySeeker December 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm

I struggle with the analogy. Comparing a young mother’s vision of dropping her baby with a man’s vision of a beautiful woman seems an apples-to-oranges comparison: the first a vision of horror and the latter a vision of pleasure accompanied by a dopamine surge. I understand that a mature man wants to be aroused only by his wife, but still, to compare something inherently horrific with something inherently pleasurable….


Paul Byerly December 9, 2015 at 6:12 pm

@IntimacySeeker – No, it’s not apples to apples – but I think it’s a lot closer than you can imagine. Intrusive is intrusive, and never desired. It’s like being on a diet and someone sitting down in front of you with a plate full of your favourite foods. Sure it makes you feel good and hungry on one level, but it’s intruding on your choice to lose weight. You’d really rather not be exposed to it!
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IntimacySeeker December 7, 2015 at 11:25 am

@Me My heart aches for you. Your words echo mine several months ago. I struggled mightily for a long time with the feelings you so aptly describe.

I finally accepted that I could not change the way my husband is wired, but I COULD change where I focused my attention and energy. Fulfilling work, close friendships, meaningful contributions to ministry, all help me feel I am making a difference in this world. Professional goals and achievements make me feel valued and respected.

These activities brought me back to a healthy perspective toward my marriage, and I could see my husband as God’s beloved child who longs to love me the way I long to be loved. And I was able to lovingly detach from the temptation he faces. His issues do not define me. I am a complete person with a purpose in life, with or without a husband and with or without sex.

I pray you will soon find your way to health and wholeness.


Rosemary December 8, 2015 at 9:03 am

I’m 30 years older and a lot of pounds heaver than I was on my wedding day. I can’t get younger, and I’m unlikely to get much thinner any time soon. There’s no point in worrying about what I can’t change, or trying to compete with either imaginary or real women that my husband might (or might not) notice. When we walk past Victoria’s Secret or a shop with a mannequin wearing a sexy cocktail dress, sometimes I point and say, “I’d look really good in that!” Now he is imagining me in that outfit, which brings a big smile to his face. I don’t have to look like a supermodel to be the “perfect” woman in his mind. I’m the perfect woman for him because I’m me.
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Paul Byerly December 8, 2015 at 11:34 am

@Rosemary – You are a wise woman!
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IntimacySeeker December 8, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Paul, Rosemary should get the prize for best comment on this post. :-)


Paul Byerly December 11, 2015 at 8:59 am

@IntimacySeeker – Yeah, she should have her own blog.
Oh wait, she does!
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A pro sex woman December 7, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Fortunately I haven’t allowed the cultural baggage around sex and women thrown on top of me, I just slapped it away. WOMEN YOU ARE SEXUAL BEINGS your clitoris is for YOUR PLEASURE, your sexuality and sex is completely independent from a man. Yes it is different thank God, so many men have fallen for the trap of sex as being , seeing ‘ a bit of nudity’, getting an erect , having sex to you climax and then roll over and sleep. WOW that was boring to type !!

There is so much more to explore within sex and so many men are eating tofu instead of meat. Women have been conditioned to respond and made to feel that our body is some sort of problem. A vast majority of women have a very strong desire and not just for chick flick romance but actual sex! Women are naturally more erotic this has been played down as it was presumed this would heighten her propensity to cheat. Being a lady with huge but normal desire with a husband that cannot keep up is another annoyance. Women want men to be vulnerable open and enjoy us taking control during sex, I know this is against our cultural brainwashing. Men sexuality is much more expansive and not that simple but many hide depth for an easy experience.


J December 8, 2015 at 8:55 am

I find this whole men rolodexing thing bogus. Give your man credit. All of those women on TV, film, print and internet aren’t real. They know that. Your man is not stupid!! They know all of the women have been photoshopped and glammed up and filmed at an angle to make them look way better than what they really are.

If you are really that worried about it though, hit the gym, stop eating junk food and slap some makeup on your face. Are you really afraid of their so-called potential rolodexing or you, yourself, not living up to your own standards you think he should have of you.


libl December 8, 2015 at 11:32 am

J, your comments have been judgemental and more hurtful than helpful. Just because the images aren’t real doesn’t mean it is ok for men to look, lust, and indulge, and when they do it does become a real issue in a marriage. There are marriages failing because of this, sex lives down the tube because of this. And it isn’t because the wife is hiding behind a flannel nighty and insecurities. It is because the husband has chosen imagery over her.

I got in shape FAST after my last pregnancy and yet because my husband was indulging his eyes with barely legal, never had a baby women, he criticized my body and refused me sex. It was easier to masturbate to the rolodex of Game of Thrones girls, lesbian sex scenes, and hentai than it was to make love to me.

He told me he wasn’t attracted to me and accused me of deliberately shrinking my bust (my baby self weaned and my milk dried up, thus my glorious milk bust deflated).

I was SMOKIN’ HOT, and caught the eye of many men. I stripped confidently for my husband. It had NOTHING to do with my insecurities. NOTHING!

I have no problem with him noticing the beauty of another woman. But I do have a problem with him indulging in lewdness, lasciviousness, and lust.


J December 9, 2015 at 3:13 am

You are wrong about being judgmental. I just have a strong opinion and don’t let others influence me. I’ve had plenty of boyfriends who played those games with me. I didn’t marry any of them. If my husband treated me that way, I would leave. If your husband is still doing this to you and not treating you as a queen, you should leave too. It’s all about self respect and teaching a man how to treat you.


RNmom December 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm

I’m in my early 30’s and I’M NOT LIKE THAT!! At least not now. Early in marriage and before it took forever for me to get in the mood and I could only orgasm in Missionary or with oral. After kids it’s like things loosened up to the point that I was able to enjoy it without pain. And my perspective and hormones have changed. No more birth control pills competing with my hormones. I ride the wave of a natural cycle which my husband has learned to notice so he takes full advantage of the week I am totally in the mood. Now foreplay isn’t even needed however its always appreciated. Sometimes I like for him to take control totally and have his way. Other times I’d like to take it slow and really make love but will often let him have his way first which arouses me more and then I get to finish! I think one of the most important things a man can do is to make your wife feel beautiful, like she is the most beautiful woman in his life. Let her know what parts of her body turn you on. Talk to he about her curves and how soft she feels. Let her know you think about her so she knows she’s the one you desire and no one else. Women are bombarded with images of what they should be and when we look in the mirror of reality it’s so clear we do not measure up but reality is what we have and if women can break that cycle of comparing themselves to others and start feeling sexy their sex lives will change. If I have time to think about sex during the day it’s so much easier to feel sexy and desired. And some random comments: When my husband’s erection is lacking I don’t think what’s wrong with him I think what’s wrong with me, I must not be turning him on tonight. While I don’t have to orgasm during sex to enjoy it, I do enjoy orgasm. On different levels in different positions but an orgasm isn’t the qualifying factor for intimacy for me. Relaxing and clearing your head of all the other stuff is key to orgasm. For women if your body is ready and your mind is fighting it, it won’t come ( no pun intended) I often pray for a clear mind and time to just enjoy my husband late in the afternoon so that by the time he comes home I can let the stress of the day go and just enjoy being close to him and pleasing him.


Eliza December 10, 2015 at 7:53 pm

What do you want your husband to understand about your sexuality? Not just the physical part of sex, but the whole thing. What do you fear? These are sometimes connected — we are learning this together. Cancer and menopause change things. He still cherishes me & I cherish every moment together; but, I & many women with cancer, fear that the changes that come with cancer will ruin the fun, joy, and pleasure of sex. For awhile, he feared hurting me or making me more sick and I feared throwing up on him.
We are learning that cancer doesn’t change who you are but moves you into a different season together. In this new season every aspect of sex changes, sometimes it changes every two seconds.

What totally non-sexual parts of your relationship with him and your life, in general, affect your sexuality? My husband and I have talked about how the way we talk to / with each other & treat each other affects both of our sexuality. It’s that love, appreciate, cherish, respect aspect of the relationship that affects how we perceive each other, ourselves, and affects how we interpret each other’s actions, motives, thoughts, etc.


Paul Byerly December 11, 2015 at 9:14 am

@Eliza – Something like cancer does have a way of bringing all of life into focus.
My prayers for your healing.
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Nina December 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm

What do I want my husband to understand about my sexuality? I want him to appreciate how vulnerable to receive him and the need I have to trust that he is not using my body for his pleasure-it is a pleasurable communion and connection-I need to hear words of affirmation and appreciation and a bit of pillow talk after sex and especially when being vulnerable trying something new -and again the next day and no excuse that that is not natural to him, he needs to know that things that work for him are not going to work for me, my body and arousal and pleasure are not the same as his and is exactly how God designed me to be as a woman, , thrusting is male pleasure and ‘harder’ is male fantasy, but pressure and grinding and caressing or his soft tongue will send me over, I understand he is a more passive person but I need to be feminine and receive his masculine energy and want to be pursued w the power of his desire. His occasional veiled impatience with the time it takes me to become fully aroused (I have rarely got fully there but usually warmed up ‘enough’) sends a message to me that I don’t think he realizes-and I put pressure on me when it does take longer which doesn’t go well for the desired outcome.

What non-sexual parts of my relationship w him and my life in general affect my sexuality? Everything does! I do need to feel close to him to open to him although I love to reconnect and sexually after an argument or disagreement. I do desire the intimacy of connection through conversation. He being vulnerable and opening and trusting me with his inner life might be equivalent to me opening and trusting him sexually. I need reassurance of his attraction to me and his loyalty and his love on a daily basis. Also I echo another comment I saw-if he took pleasure in looking at and checking out other women or used other women for his pleasure in any way -I would have absolutely no desire at all to let him come near me sexually-for a very long time.

What do I fear? Opening up and talking to him freely about our sex life-I was more open in the beginning of our marriage but he wasn’t so it closed me up. Taking too long and him not understanding-although he is a generous husband and wants me to get my orgasm first I can tell by his sometimes impatience with me getting to arousal (I wish there was a different word than “foreplay” bc it is part of the entire wonderful experience and not really an option for a woman) that he doesn’t understand why my body isn’t instantly aroused like his is. Also sometimes I fear, especially when we are in a position where we are not looking at each other, that he is imagining someone else.

What do I secretly desire? More oral sex, more fun and variety, more frequency, more experimenting, him taking charge more often, him asking for his desires, being able to talk about it all and be at the stage where it is easy to do that. My husband is a routine and stable person and would be first to tell you he is vanilla and boring-I say he is stable and I love that about him but would not argue if he loosened up a bit in the bedroom. Also when I do something special for us-lingerie, surprise him w a role playing scenario, strip tease etc I really desire him to affirm how special it made him feel or his enjoyment-I haven’t done anything like that in awhile bc I was getting no feedback but do kind of miss it. Oh! And him talking during sex might be at the top-that would be great.

What do I wish he would do but am too afraid to ask? He is not a talk or touch person at all but it is highest on my list-I’d love for him to just take his time and really touch and enjoy every inch of my body sometime and to lay in bed just holding me and talking and making love all day or night after -just a long, tender lovemaking session with nothing else to do. Or him completely rising up to the full power of his masculinity and just taking me.

What do I wish he’d stop doing? Grabbing my breasts and vagina and thinking I’ve changed and it now turns me on. I joke and gently try to remind him it doesn’t work that way for me or I’m not ready for that yet so as not to hurt him-and believe me I’m very sex positive and would be open to daily sex-but he just doesn’t seem to get that for some reason. Also asking after I’ve had an orgasm and we’re working on his and he’s thrusting “How does that feel?” -the truthful answer during the act wouldn’t do much for him.


Paul Byerly December 16, 2015 at 8:11 pm

@Nina – Great stuff, thanks so much!
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A.C December 16, 2015 at 12:02 am

I am a man and everything I read here makes me wonder a lot. How can women even think about engaging in sex? It seems like a really horrible experience or at least an exhausting one with all the things that need to be in order for women to enjoy sex. I understand now why women often are the low sex drive. Sex must really be awful for you. How do some women even have one night stands? They really have to be desperate. I have started to ask myself: can it be that the problem isn’t the low sex drive spouse but the high sex drive spouse. I am the high sex drive spouse in my marriage and I have started to try a new thing. I have atarted to try to lower my sex drive. Mainly because she doesn’t seem to need sex as much as I do at least not now and it’s so annoying to have a high sex drive. I actually hate it and this is a way to solve this problem. Also she has control over our sex life she decides if and when it happens. I first started by shutting off everything. I didn’t let any sexual thought of my wife remain in my head or feelings (no other women either). And then I just started to be neutral. Not commenting her body, not asking for sex but instead just be there. Trying to channel my sexual frustration to do things for her instead and help her with our 4 months old daughter. Well my wife who is the low sex drive spouse started to wonder some days ago why I wasn’t attracted to her and why I don’t hug her and kiss her etc. I explained that I am attracted to her but I am just trying to adjust. I love to kiss her and hug her but I can’t control my bodies reaction when I am near her. She is so beautiful and sexy and it’s really hard for me and I don’t want to be annoying about sex so I just thought it was best to shut it off. Because to be going around without sex for two weeks and more is hard and for her it is easy to cuddle for me painful knowing that we won’t have sec until she wants to so that’s why I had been distant physically. Well she told me that it could happen this week so now I am a little more physical but I am still trying not to have to many sexual thought I touch her body a little but I am working on not being aroused and so.
Because after we have made love I don’t know when the next time Comte because lets be honest the High sex drive spouse doesn’t have anything to say when it comes to when or where sex is happening. So I think that’s the solution. To just try to lower the drive to the point that I can wait until she wants to. It’s hard, right now knowing that it will happen any of these days makes it easier but not knowing when next time will be is really hard because I think I will still not ask her for sex and try to lower my drive. I hope it will work and maybe that’s what marriages need. Shouldn’t there be posts about how guys can lower they’re sex drive? If possible without feeling sexually frustrated we as husbands are making are wife’s a big favor because if sex is this horrible, painful and takes so long time maybe the most sacrificial thing to do is to stop trying to have sex and wait until our wife’s want to and if they don’t want to well then we won’t notice because we will also have a low sex drive. What do you ladies think? Would that be a good idea?


IntimacySeeker December 17, 2015 at 11:04 am

@AC After reading all these responses, I can appreciate your perspective. Speaking for myself, I would not want my husband to try to lower his sex drive. For even with all my issues around sex, our marriage would not be as strong and healthy as it is today if we had not increased our sexual sharing these past few years. I could be a perfectly content individual without sex, bur we cannot be an intimate couple without sex.

Perhaps the women who have commented here aren’t saying every little detail must be executed perfectly BEFORE they can enjoy sex, rather every part of their relationship with their husbands affects their ability to engage in and enjoy sex. And perhaps husbands might say that sex affects their ability to engage in and enjoy all the other parts of their relationships with their wives.

Picture a dancing couple. ‘Tis easier for her to step to the left if he will step to the right, and vice versa, and so forth. Each partner in the marriage has opportunities for thoughts, words, and actions that enhance and grow the relationship. Sometimes we misstep, sometimes we trip one another or step on the other’s foot. Sometimes we glide in unison.

Given the culture in which we live presently, any man getting married should expect his wife to have issues around sex. We are told that sex is bad, that we are bad if we have sex, and REALLY bad if we like sex. We are also told that physical appearance and sexual appeal are our only valuable attributes. After we marry, we are told we are cold and heartless if we don’t like sex. We are hurt and confused. We need our men to stand with us as we work through the lies and pain to discover the safety and freedom that God intends for us in marriage.


A.C December 21, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Thank you for your answer and I guess it’s true what you say but it is still frustrating. Many women may feel like theirs husbands sex drive is annoying, well it’s not just annoying for women it’s painful for us. I really hate to have this sex drive. I mean why? Why did God have to give us a high sex drive ?? I can’t understand that!! As you say we men need to stand with our women and help them through all the confusion about sex and help them so they can enjoy it but in the main time it’s horrible to go around with all these feelings and desires! It’s awful! My only conclusion is that the high sex drive must be a result of the fall. Adam must have a had a normal drive like eve! I just can’t get the thought of my head that there is something wrong with us men. Maybe the high sex drive is a result of our culture. Maybe the high sex drive is a result of sin so the solution should be to pray it away or something. I’m sorry I’m rambling but I just get so frustrated. All my life has been a struggle against sexual desires and it has been a constant fight to love pure and then when you think that it’s over it’s not. I now it sounds dumb but I really thought sex was going to be easy, that was my expectation but now I see that it is so much work. I am not saying it’s not worth it but waiting for so long and in the end see that it’s just so complicated and as I said before, awful for women, still makes me wanna get rid of my high sex drive. My wife wouldn’t mind and to be able to have what I have with my wife without all this desires would be fantastic. But until I find something that can lower my drive I have to live with this curse. There are many marriage blogs that are really good but some of them should write on how to lower your drive when there’s no sex in a long time or something. Again excuse me for just rambling, I just wanted a place where I could talk about this because where I’m from no body talks about it!


IntimacySeeker December 17, 2015 at 11:34 am

Paul, thank you for all you do to help husbands understand their wives’ sexuality. I want to encourage wives to pray for and take advantage of opportunities to help their own husbands understand their particular needs.

This morning DH and I saw a rerun of an old comedy. We both laughed at a well delivered line. A few minutes later I thought about the underlying message and realized the line wasn’t funny at all, but degrading and disrespectful to women in general. (Such comments are so enmeshed in our culture and the media, we have become desensitized.) I shared that with my husband, and because I had laughed at the same line, he didn’t feel I was accusing him. I was able to tell him that the sexiest, most attractive thing he can do for me is to speak against that kind of talk, because when he stands up for women in general, he stands up for me, and I can feel safe sharing my sexuality with him.


Paul Byerly December 17, 2015 at 2:53 pm

@IntimacySeeker – Thanks for a beautiful answer to A.C. I’d have said much the same, but it means far more coming from a woman, especially a woman who has been honest about sexual struggles in her own marriage.
The fact something cause problems does not make the thing bad or wrong. God is clear married folk are to be sexual, and shows us sex is supposed to be a blessing. Our society and church have messed it up, but that does not mean we should just ditch it!
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Paul Byerly December 17, 2015 at 3:01 pm

@IntimacySeeker – Nice to hear you and your husband hearing each other so clearly. The more the happens, the faster things improve.
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Jolie February 2, 2016 at 3:51 pm

What do I want my husband to understand about my sexuality?
The exact same things I wish I had known about my sexuality before I had gotten married.

1. My sexual urges are not derived from a strong internal drive to be sexual. I may be different than other women, but I have never entered into an intimate sexual encounter with the Need to have an orgasm. My sexuality is driven more from a need to feel close to my husband. When I have an orgasm it is a bonus but it won’t be the driving force for me to want sex again the next time.

2. My sexuality is inconsistent, EVER changing, and very fragile.
I have had to reassess my sexuality many times over the course of the past 30 years only
because my sexuality kept changing.
It changed during pregnancy, again after delivery, again with breast feeding, again any time
I was very stressed and then again at menopause. I guess I have a very weak sexuality
because with each of the above instances, my sexuality disappeared. I had to recapture it
with huge amounts of mental energy to put it back on track. Remember, I don’t have a
an ever present strong internal force driving me to be sexual.

3. My sexual likes are also fickle. For a while I liked having my breasts fondled. Then after breast feeding I couldn’t stand to have my breasts touched. The first 15 years of marriage, I enjoyed oral, but after my 40th birthday the thought makes me cringe. Sometimes I feel adventurous, then I’ll go through periods of no interest in anything but vanilla. The list goes on. No wonder men get frustrated and confused.

4. Most importantly though, I want my husband to understand that I don’t understand my sexuality Either ! But I love him dearly no matter what my ‘sexuality of the day’ decides to be.
And I thank him for hanging in there with me.


Paul Byerly February 3, 2016 at 9:45 am

@Jolie – Thank you so much for this – you did a beautiful job of giving voice to some things many women feel.
Women do vary, but what you said here is all very common, and not at all wrong.
Paul Byerly recently posted…If Time is Money…My Profile


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