The Sex Window Is Closing

April 22, 2016

in Uncategorized

Most men are up for sex pretty much any time. This is especially true for men younger than 40. Physically we desire sex most of the time, and we can perform even when we’re moderately tired or stressed. We find it easy to switch mental gears in general, and especially when it comes to sex. For a variety of reasons, the average wife has a smaller window of opportunity for good sex each day.

Woman closing window © mihajlockovric |

So may I suggest:

  1. Explain this reality to your husband. He may not “get it”, but he doesn’t need to. He just needs to accept your sex opportunity window is shorter than 23 hours and 58 minutes a day.
  2. Give him some idea when you window is likely to be open and when it’s likely to be closed. Don’t bury him in facts, just give him a few big usually true parameters.
  3. When you know the window is closing for the day, give him a heads up.

~ Paul – I’m XY and I do windows!

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

libl April 22, 2016 at 3:58 am

My sex window is almost always at least cracked open. The thing with women is even if we personally aren’t interested in sex, we can still have sex. I have had times where I told hubby, “go ahead, but I am so tired, I am just going to lay here.”

The window of opportunity for me to orgasm is more like what you describe above.


Paul Byerly April 22, 2016 at 8:32 am

@libl – I would say you have choosen to leave the “have sex” window open even when the climax window is not. I think this is a loving and right way to go, but not all women feel that way.
BTW, I’d take this concept beyond sex. There are things I will gladly do for my wife’s enjoyment or fulfilment even if I do not want those things myself at that moment.
Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: The Curse of KnowledgeMy Profile


Me April 22, 2016 at 4:07 am

Sadly, we are the opposite. My window is almost always open, and open widest between 10 pm and midnight. My husbands window doesn’t open every day, and if it does, it is often between 6 and 8 pm (the busiest part of my day), or occasionally 4:00 in the morning! We run on very different schedules. He goes to work around 4:30 am, so I get that he’s tired. If we are going to have sex, it is almost always on his schedule, his terms.

But alas, as most higher drive spouses know, the lower drive spouse has all the power and calls all the shots. Everything is done their way, in their time, or not at all. It’s sad, but I’ve gotten used to it. I still find myself wishing I were a more typical woman, but I’m me, so there you have it!


Amy April 22, 2016 at 7:37 am

Me, you’re not alone! But I like to tell myself that I’m not atypical, I’m exactly as God made me!

My hubby drives logging truck and right now is up at midnight, home by 5pm and in bed by 6pm. There is absolutely NO sex during the work week and on the weekends it’s usually just on Saturday morning (his favorite time of day for sex) just because at his age he needs more time in between lovemaking. I can accept no sex during the week and have never made him feel bad for it, after all he provides for us, but I crave, crave, crave more than once on the weekend. I feel like it’s a famine for me, but he seems content with once a week.

My window for sex is always open, but unfortunately my window for an orgasm isn’t. And it seems lately the less sex we have the harder it is to find an opening to orgasm which leaves me very frustrated for weeks at a time if I don’t get there on Sat. morning. :(
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Paul Byerly April 22, 2016 at 8:49 am

@JD @Me @Amy – Not that long ago I’d have said you were exceptions to how God made most women. Not wrong, very much how God made you, but not the norm.
I have begun to question this.
Certainly you are the exception in terms of how couples function. Most women don’t feel as you do. HOWEVER, this does not mean the norm is what God intended. Culture plays a part in this, and I am seeing it can have a far more powerful effect than I ever dreamed.
My Saturday TGH post will touch on this, and I am working on a similar post here. I don’t know where this leads, but I am increasingly convinced what we see as normal is NOT what God intended.


JD April 22, 2016 at 5:11 am

My husband and I are the exact opposite. My window is almost always open, no matter how tired or stressed I am. However, my husband needs to be rested, relaxed and generally healthy. If he’s sick, exhausted from the day (we have two small kids), or stressed in general he’s not feeling it. He’s older than me by 20 years, so he’s mid-50’s and I’m mid-30’s. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. It’s frustrating at times, but I’ve tried to communicate more how important it is to me and he’s tried to compromise more.


Lynn April 23, 2016 at 6:58 am

JD, my husband is also older than me by 20 years, but I’m in my late 50s and he’s late 70s. I keep my window open for him. I suspect that if I didn’t make it clear to him that the window was open, we’d have a lot less sex. However, he has a lot less stress and physical activity than your husband, though he’s very busy and active in general. So – if you can hold our until the kids are more peer-focused and less parent-focused, and he approaches retirement, if you’re lucky enough for that to be an option, what I’m saying is, age is probably not the factor. My husband thought, because of our ages, we’d be on the ‘twice a month plan’. Instead we are on the 3-4 times a week plan.


Me April 23, 2016 at 7:29 am

I am insanely jealous of you! There, I said it!! We are in our 40s (me early, him mid) and our kids are teens. And yet, we are on the 3-4 times a MONTH plan! (Okay, maybe 5-6 times a month if I’m really lucky). I would be absolutely thrilled if my husband loved me enough to be with me 3 – 4 times a week. You are so blessed!
I am convinced my husband does not find me all that attractive. It is the only explanation for our situation. Reading about husbands who are hot for their wives and want more sex just makes me sad, sad, sad – and wondering what is so WRONG WITH ME. Grrrr!
My husband is perfectly content being intimate once a week and as I said, the kids are older so my lack of desireability is the only plausible explanation. Sure he’s constantly stressed at work, but he has been for years and years. Then again, he’s never been as interested in sex as the men I read about, so who knows. All I know is that it is incredibly frustrating. I’ve even prayed for God to take away my desire for sex with my husband, but so far, no go! Sometimes it even seems to get stronger which makes me feel like more of a loser. I’m not overweight, but I am convinced I’m just not good enough for my husband. I’m probably just not his “type”.
While I’m getting things off my chest, it makes me insane that he acts all sad that I feel so badly about myself and our situation. He can’t have it both ways. Either he finds me sexually desirable or he doesn’t. And if he doesn’t, then I’m going to feel badly and sad. He cant have it both ways. Why is that so hard for him to understand. Am I making sense? He has the right to not be interested in me enough to be with me more than once a week. And I have the right to feel sad that he finds me so repulsive.


Amy April 23, 2016 at 1:20 pm

@Me — Wow, your husband says you are repulsive to him?? That is not okay! Or is it that just what you assume??

Honestly, just because one spouse does not want sex as often as the other is not usually an indication of a lack of desire. In our case, my husband is EXHAUSTED from the horribly long work hours he has. Am I sad that we don’t connect more often sexually? Yes! I would give anything to have a more frequent sex life, but my husband tells me often that he loves me, that I’m beautiful and that he desires me, and I believe him.

I know this will sound harsh, but honestly, it is your mindset that is making you miserable. I know, because I was allowing my negative thoughts to affect my relationship with my husband. I was assuming things that simply were not true.
My husband does love me, does find me attractive and desirable…and I choose to believe it when he tells me so.

Instead of praying for God to take away your desire, ask Him to help you change your mindset and to believe that you are beautiful and desirable. And when your husband tells you those things, which I hope he does, accept his compliments and simply say thank you, and relish in his positive words towards you instead of assuming the worse.

Praying you find peace and contentment in your marriage, for life is far to short to allow misery to fill up your days.
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Me April 27, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Oh no! He never calls me repulsive and actually gets quite upset when I say I feel that way. But when I read about how much other husbands want sex, it often makes me wonder what’s wrong with me, therefore I end up feeling I must be repulsive in some way. Sorry for the confusion.


Paul Byerly April 28, 2016 at 8:28 am

@Me – Comparison is a cancer in marriage.
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Amy April 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm

I did actually understand what you meant, I was just trying to make a point.
Unless your husband is actually saying you are repulsive or that he does not desire you then stop assuming that!
My husband and I have sex about once a week, maybe twice if I’m lucky, but it has nothing to do with him not thinking I’m attractive and desirable. Early in our marriage though I allowed myself to entertain such thoughts and as I said in my comment above, by allowing myself to dwell on those negative thoughts I was making myself miserable and all because I made some assumption based on how often we made love.

So, please start believing your husband when he says he finds you attractive or tell you how nice you look, etc, and say THANK YOU to him! Receive his compliments and stop talking negative about yourself. How frustrating it must be for him when you reject his compliments and worse yet, to hear you talk that way about yourself.
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K April 23, 2016 at 3:36 pm

@Me I couldn’t agree with @Amy and @Lynn more! I concur with everything they both said about your views of both yourself and your husband. Your view of yourself and your husband makes me very sad. Even though I know you don’t want to hear this, you DO have a “regular” sex life with your husband. It is not as “regular” as you’d like it to be, but it could be much worse. He is not refusing you daily and only “giving in” a few times per year for years on end. He is showing you that he desires you sexually. Just not as often as you’d like. He seems to care about how you feel even though you won’t believe him and don’t view what he does to show you how he sees you as enough.

Have you ever thought of making a list of all the loving things he does for you? I challenge you to do this and look at it several times a day. Continue adding to it whenever you notice another loving gesture. As you look at the list everyday, ask yourself if he would do these things for you if he didn’t love you and think you were beautiful? Every time you see the list, try to see yourself through his eyes and ask yourself if sex is the sole measure of his love and desire for you. I have a feeling that if you did this daily for several months, your perspective would begin to change. You might begin to realize that sex is only one of the ways he shows his desire for you. You might start to notice that he desires to spend most of his time with you, that he desires to seek your opinion about things that matter to him, that he desires to serve you in special ways, that he desires to protect and provide for you, that he desires to dream with you and so much more. You’d probably start to recognize that he doesn’t desire these things with others, but only with you because you are beautiful person he chose to spend his life with.

Here are a few things on my list for my husband in case you need specific ideas:
—He doesn’t like to take a day off unless I’m off too.
—He takes my car to get the oil changed.
—He does most of the grocery shopping because he knows I don’t like to do it.
—He works extremely hard to provide for us.
—He enjoys spending time with me more than anyone else.
—He values my opinion on important family issues even though he will have the final say in decision making.
—He treats my elderly mother very well. He does things for her that are not required or expected.
—If he’s out of town, he always reminds me to lock the doors and set the alarm before bed.
(This can be a bit annoying, but I know it’s because he loves me.)

As you can probably tell, I could write a book of these about my husband. From things I’ve seen you write, I bet you could get a good list started about your husband too. Take the challenge. I dare you! What could it hurt?


Lynn April 23, 2016 at 8:48 am

I got married for the first time at age 55 and had no experience. Frankly, I liked that my husband was ‘old and worn out’ and I was hoping for the ‘Christmas and his birthday’ plan. I don’t have a high drive, but I went into marriage planning to be open to what was good for my husband, my marriage, and myself, in that order. I’m so sorry if your husband doesn’t have this attitude. Your posts have made me grateful for what I have, which isn’t the frequency of our sex life, but the fact that I am, by the grace of God, able to believe my husband when he tells me my aging, overweight self is both beautiful and sexy. I pray for you to be able to cast off your crippling self-doubt.

My husband and his late wife had a good marriage for 49 years and he has told me that there were years when they didn’t have sex even once. So – take that for what it’s worth.


K April 23, 2016 at 2:58 pm

My window is almost always open. My husband’s, not so much. He is tired and stressed a lot, and in general he has much lower drive. He is trying hard these days, but it’s still difficult for me. I so wish he wanted me as much and as often as I want him (although I know that would wear him out!). I think he’d be open to more quickies, but frankly, that’s not ok with me right now. I’m ok with an occasional quickie, but not for that to be the norm even if it meant a lot more sex. I view quickies as being mostly for him and right now that’s not ok with me on a regular basis. If our roles were reversed, I might see this as a loving gesture by my wife who’d refused me for so long and was working to improve our sex life. However, as a woman, I want and need more than a quickie after having endured years in a sexless marriage. (He does help me masturbate sometimes when he’s too tired for sex. I’d prefer regular sex, but I do view this as a loving gesture to help satisfy my needs. And, I’m grateful for it.) I hope that one day I’ll be over the years of pain and rejection enough that I will be more open to more things like quickies that could enhance our overall sex life.

Paul, I do wonder if the years of shutting down his sex drive could still be at play here? And, if so, is there anything I can do to help him regain a more robust drive? He seems to have a lot of roadblocks in his mind. I can’t figure out if he is using these as excuses or if he really believes these things. For example, he seems to believe his recovery time is much longer than I think it is. The times when we have “tested it”, I am usually correct. I wish I knew how much of this is excuses vs. what he really believes. And I wish I knew how much his pattern of refusal has played into his current drive. Any insights you have would be much appreciated.


Paul Byerly April 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm

@K “Paul, I do
wonder if the years of shutting down his sex drive could still be at play here?”

I would say it does play a part, maybe a very big one. “Use it or lose it” is valid when it comes to sex, especially as we get past 40. Aside from some changes specific to sexuality, anything we do often builds neural pathways. When we don’t do something, those pathways dwindle. There’s also the mental and emotional habits he built to avoid getting aroused.

Can he get some of it back? Yes, if he’s willing to work on it. It means choosing to be sexual more often. It means you doing all kinds of things to help him get turned on. I suspect you would be up for it, but would he? Would he even feel he has the time?
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K April 27, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Thanks, Paul! This is helpful. He is working on it. I’ve found what you’re saying to be true. But, it’s complicated by the hurt and anger I still feel. He seems to be more interested the more I talk about sex and do things to get him turned on. However, I’m trying to find a balance that I can live with. The fact that I have to drive our sex life now brings with it more hurt and anger that he put us in this position. Now that he’s willing, I don’t think it’s fair to me to have to instigate the sex after being completely rejected for 2 decades. On the other hand, he’s satisfied with much less than me so I have to be willing to do some of this. It seems like a never ending battle that not’s good for either of us.


Paul Byerly April 28, 2016 at 8:27 am

@K – Can you see it as a battle against the evil that wants to rob both of you of what could be? Because you want it more you are the one who is going to do more of the fighting. But both of you will benefit, and the more he enjoys it the more he will join you in the battle.
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K April 29, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Yes, now I do recognize it as that. For years, I thought God was punishing me. I now know that’s not true, but am still battling those thoughts when things seem to regress. I know I need to do most of the battling right now. Unfortunately, the hurt, anger and fear make that very difficult. I’m working on it all.


Me April 30, 2016 at 5:11 am

@K, I empathize with some of your hurts. I understand what Paul is saying about a battle against the enemy. But I also feel it’s unfair that I’m the one who has to initiate and even drive the conversations about sex. I still assume (perhaps incorrectly) that this is because he doesn’t find me attractive or desirable enough to make the effort.
I also sometimes wonder if God is punishing me for being too sexual. That perhaps having such strong sexual desires, even though the desires are for my husband, perhaps that is a sign that I’m too interested in sex and so I don’t deserve to experience what it’s like to be loved sexually or desired by my husband.
I completely understand the hurt, anger, and fear that you mentioned.
I’m sure it doesn’t help, but rest in the fact that you are not the only one. :(


Paul Byerly April 30, 2016 at 10:04 am

@Me – Given the conversations I’ve had with many men, I would assume his resistance is about him and his past. This is far more common than a man not finding his wife desirable.
As for God punishing you I’m so sorry this is even an option in your mind. Given the world we live in I understand why it’s an option, but it’s just sad. A woman has a half way decent drive and she is somehow a pervert. Grrrr.
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Jolie April 26, 2016 at 9:30 am

I guess my husband and I are a bit older than the other posters here.

Over our 30 some years of marriage, we have opened and closed our individual windows many times over for many different reasons.

There was a time I tried to leave my window always open only to discover I was being choked by past experiences that caused me to close my window permanently until I was able to deal with some difficult personal issues. It was hard work and a lot of courage to crack my window open again. My husband was very patient.

Now I try to keep my window open most of the time even though I have menopausal issues keeping me from physically enjoying sex. He takes my decrease in response personally even with my window open.

He too is experiencing physical issues and has told me he doesn’t think he could possibly have his window open more than once a week at most. He doesn’t want me to take this personally though. Hmmmm.

This whole sexual intimacy thing seems to be a dance between the emotional and the physical aspects and putting each in it’s proper perspective when things aren’t exactly how we’d like them to be.


Paul Byerly April 27, 2016 at 8:07 am

@Jolie – I think the whole taking it personal thing is about our fears. If we can get past those and be truly open sex, and everything else in our marriage, becomes so much easier.
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