He Wants to Serve

When Lori and I were on a cruise a couple of weeks ago, we ate some meals at the buffet. We would both go through the line and find a table, then I’d go get us drinks.

One day I realised I was one of half a dozen men getting two drinks. From then on I watched this, and it continued to be true.

He Wants to Serve

Granted most of these men were older than I, but then this was the case for the ship’s population as a whole. I saw enough younger men to confirm this is not a generational thing.

It’s clear to me these men wanted to serve their wives. It may seem like a small thing, but it still shows their heart. I wonder how many of the women registered what their husband was doing? Even more than that, I wonder if they understood what it means about their husband and how he feels about them?

I think men are naturally geared to serve and care for their wives. Selfishness and busyness certainly get in the way of that, but if this is in a man’s heart it’s going to show in some way. If you see any hint of this in your husband I suggest you enjoy it and express gratitude for it.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I want to take care of my wife!

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Fishing For Thanks

I saw myself in something another husband did recently, and I realised many men do the same thing.

Fishing For Thanks

A fellow had done something nice for his wife. Actually, it was several somethings, and doing them took a good deal of time and effort. I had heard the wife thank the husband for what he did, but the next day I heard the husband fishing for more thanks.

When I do this, it’s because I don’t feel the appreciation shown was sufficient for the effort I put into whatever I did. I suspect this is about my own insecurity because I know Lori appreciates what I do for her.

If your husband sometimes fishes for thanks, take it as a sign he wants to be reassured you notice what he does for you and appreciate him for it. Being more demonstrative when you thank him won’t cost you much, and it will benefit your marriage.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I get uptight too.

#CouplesQuestion: What three words best describe your life?

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Spontaneous vs Responsive Arousal

Like most folks, I grew up thinking men and women got turned on the same way, with women just being slower. Then about fifteen years ago I came across the first suggestions that most women do not function at all as men do. 

While the truth has been out there a good while now, most folks have not heard the truth. This leads to a great deal of unnecessary frustration in many couple’s sex lives.

Spontaneous vs Responsive Arousal

Spontaneous vs Responsive Arousal

Men generally experience spontaneous arousal. This means they are just suddenly in the mood for sex without anything causing them to get horny. Their brain is ready for sex, and their body follows. A man may spend a great deal of time this way. His rapid reaction to his wife saying, doing, or showing something is because his brain is already in sex gear.

Some women experience this kind of spontaneous arousal fairly often, and some experience it on occasion. It’s more common in a new relationship or after being apart. However, this is not the most common form of arousal for women. I’ve seen experts suggest only 15% of women are primarily spontaneous. 

The other form of arousal is responsive arousal. Unlike spontaneous arousal where the mind leads and the body follows, responsive desire means the body gets aroused first and the mind follows. This happens to some men on occasion, and it’s the most common form of arousal for the majority of women.

Responsive arousal happens when your husband does something that turns you on physically. As your body gets going, your mind thinks “Hey, this could be fun.”

Responsive Problems

Responsive arousal seems to be how God made most women and it’s not wrong. However, we live in a world that bases sexuality on a male model and this causes problems.

A woman who doesn’t understand responsive desire may think she has no interest in sex. She expects to get spontaneously horny like her husband, and thinks not doing that means she has no sex drive.

Another potential problem that arises from responsive desire is when a husband uses the “dipstick method” of determining his wife’s arousal; if she’s wet, she’s ready. The problem is your body can be good and aroused while your mind is still trying to get there. Sadly many women buy into the wet means go fallacy too. If what’s between your ears isn’t ready, what’s going on between your legs is not enough to have good sex.

I have three suggestions for those of you who don’t get turned on just because:

  1. Realise you don’t have to feel horny to have and greatly enjoy sex. If your husband knows how to go about it, you can say yes and get aroused first physically and then mentally. 
  2. Don’t let wetness be used as a sign of arousal. Be willing to tell hubby your body is ready but you need more time for your mind to get on board. An extra five or ten minutes of foreplay can make a huge difference.
  3. If your man complains you never initiate, explain the different kinds of arousal to him. If you’re willing you can tell him you will initiate on occasion, but when you do you will still need foreplay.

For an excellent female look at this issue, check out Rethinking Low Libido: Are You Low Libido or Just Normal? by Bonny over at oysterbed7.com.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I learned so many lies about sex growing up!

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Put An “O” In Valentine’s

I often hear husbands complain they never have sex on Valentine’s Day. 

If there is any chance your husband would like to have sex tomorrow, please make it a top priority to provide him with at least one orgasm. It can be full sex, a quickie, your hand, or your mouth.

Put An "O" In Valentine's

A few ideas:

  • If you want to get it out of the way, or you’re afraid the day will get away from you, do something first thing in the morning.
  • If he showers in the morning, step in with him. Offer to wash his more male parts, and keep washing till he climaxes.
  • Let him know before he leaves for work what you intend to do with/to him that night. The more detail, the better.
  • Send him a text with the above.
  • If he’s taking you out Valentine’s evening, invite him to have a quickie before you leave. (Extra points for doing this after you get dressed up.)
  • Ask him what he wants you to do for him sexually. Then when he’s told you, ask him what he really wants. Then go as far as you feel comfortable.
  • If you really want to make him feel special, put two O’s in his Valentine’s Day.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and there’s an “O” in love!

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The Power of Shared Experiences

One of the fun things about travelling and spending time with various friends is that we get introduced to things we would never see or do on our own.

Along these lines, we recently watched a movie called Dawn Wall. The movie is about Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson free climbing the Dawn Wall, a 3,000-foot rock face in Yosemite National Park that was considered unclimbable.

The Power of Shared Experiences

The climb was broken up into sections known as pitches. The climbers had safety ropes for falls, but they used nothing other than their hands to make it to each pitch. Once they free climbed to a pitch they could go back to base camp (which was well up the verticle wall) and then use ropes to get back to that pitch. 

Caldwell made it across the worst section, but Jorgeson kept falling. Eventually, Jorgeson insisted that Caldwell continue. Jorgeson used ropes to climb sections he’d not completed so he could help keep Caldwell safe. 

As Caldwell got just below the top, he decided he didn’t want to complete the climb alone. He wanted Jorgeson to make it as well. At this point, they had been on the rock face for more than two weeks and giving Jorgeson more time to work on the difficult pitch was risking not making the top. After a couple of days of rest, Jorgeson made the pitch, He quickly caught up to Caldwell, and on day 19 of their climb, they both made the top.

Some would say Caldwell’s choice to wait was driven by friendship. While that was no doubt a factor, there’s more to it. I believe Caldwell wanted to be able to share the victory with someone. He wanted someone who understood what it took, who could relate to the feeling of making the top. I think he would rather have not made it that made it alone.

I have no idea if this kind of thinking is common for women, but I know it is common for men. In most things, a solo victory is inferior to a shared victory.

Lori and I ran into this recently when we went snorkelling for the first time. She had trouble breathing with her face in the water. She encouraged me to go ahead without her, and I knew she meant it. But I wanted to share the experience with her. When she finally got it, and took off so fast I had trouble catching up, I was at least as thrilled as she was that she was doing it. 

After a while, Lori got tired and headed back to shore accompanied by one of our guides. That was fine, she had done it, we had the shared experience. She did miss the experience of swallowing so much sea water you throw up, but not everything needs to be shared!

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife is one brave, awesome woman!

#CouplesQuestion: You wake up ten years in the future. What does your life look like?

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Misinformation About Female Sexuality: Part 2

This is the second post about commonly repeated misinformation about female sexuality.

Women are all the same sexually

A lot of men assume women are all the same sexually. What turns one woman on turns all women on. What takes one woman to orgasm should work for all women. If it doesn’t work, something is wrong with the woman.

Unfortunately, plenty of women believe this lie to some degree. They assume their body should respond the way his former girlfriend responded. Or they think they should react to things the same way their girlfriends react.

The truth is each woman’s sexuality is unique. And the differences are not all in women’s heads! Dr. Deborah Coady, a New York gynaecologist, has mapped the nervous system of the female genitals in a number of women, and she found no two women are alike. The number of nerves for the clitoris, the vaginal opening, the cervix, the perineum, and the anus varies greatly from one woman to another. This very much affects how certain touches feels to women. 

There are also significant differences in women’s genitals. The inner lips can be small or large. The size and placement of the clitoris varies from woman to woman. Even the angle and placement of the vagina is not the same for every woman.

Beyond all the physical differences, your sexual history significantly impacts what you want and enjoy sexually. So any sexual experiences you had before marriage are a factor. How your parents, particularly your mother, felt about and talked about sex is a factor. If your church did a hardline push for “purity” that is also a factor.

Bottom Line: No two women are alike sexually. Given some of the differences are about how your body is assembled, I’d say God wanted each woman’s sexuality to be unique. 

Misinformation About Female Sexuality - Part 2

Relaxation is the key to good sex

This one may blow your mind – it certainly challenged me!

We all know that for a woman to enjoy sex she needs to relax first. I’ve told men this over and over. It seems perfectly logical. Then some scientist, a woman no less, went and messed things up by actually studying this!

Dr Cindy Meston, who runs a sexual psychophysiology lab at the University of Texas at Austin, has found that good sex happens when a woman’s sympathetic nervous system is activated. Relaxing fires up the parasympathetic nervous system and suppresses the sympathetic nervous system. Meston suggests getting a woman ready for sex should look more like exercising together, riding a roller coaster, or watching a scary movie or a comedy. These things prime a woman for sex by activating the sympathetic nervous system so she responds more quickly and more intensely to sexual stimulation.

Basically, relaxing suppresses the part of the nervous system that needs to be active for you to enjoy sex, making it counter-productive. So while that long soak in the tub feels good, it may be messing with your ability to get aroused and orgasm! This doesn’t mean you don’t need to disconnect from certain things, such as getting out of mommy mode. The issue is how you do that.

I recall a time when Lori thought I had fallen off a cliff (I had not). We went home and had really good sex. Now I know the reason for that was the adrenaline running through her system. Likewise, this is why teenage boys used to like to take a girl to a scary movie; their chances of something sexual in the back seat of the car were much better after such a movie.

Bottom Line: Relax after sex.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I don’t suggest “I think he’s dead” as a way to improve sex!

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 But Men…

The middle of last month I posted Put Down The Knife! here on The XY Code. In the comments, some of you questioned me about being so hard on women and/or reminded me that men do horrible things too. Then last week I posted Objectification over on The Generous Husband, and I got the usual “You only pick on men, what about women?” comments. I actually scheduled the TGH before the XY post ran, so it was not an attempt to balance things out.

But Men...

The reality is none of us, male or female, likes to face what we or our gender do wrong. And most of us like to hear about what our spouse or the other gender does wrong. 

While this is human nature, it’s not beneficial to our marriages. Talking about what your husband, or men in general, do wrong might make you feel better about yourself, but it won’t improve your marriage in any way.

That said, I don’t ‘beat up on” you ladies nearly as often as I beat up on the men. Aside from the fact that my goal here is to explain men, I’m well aware I’m a man talking to women. When I talk to men about what men tend to do wrong I have at least one finger pointing back at myself. Here that’s not true, and I think it makes telling you ladies what you do wrong far more problematic.

When I do point out something many wives do wrong it’s either because it’s very common and hurtful, or because I don’t see the female bloggers dealing with it.

So yes I will run the occasional “This female behaviour is wrong/hurtful/rude” post here, but it’s not the main thrust of the blog.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I see plenty of faults to go around!

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Requested Rerun: PMS: 3 Letters That Strike Fear in His Heart

A fellow suggested I write something about PMS here. I did a post on this a few years ago that didn’t get me killed, so I’m going to clean that up and run it again.

A guy talking about PMS. I realise I’m on shaky ground here as I’ve never experienced it first hand. On top of that, my Lovely Lori never had it as bad as many women. But I’ve seen it in action with more than a few women and I know it can be absolutely horrible for some.

My goal in this post it to remind you that your husband and kids have to live with your PMS too, and the worse it is for you the worse it probably is for them.

I’ve dealt with some women who seemed to think they should never be held accountable for anything they said or did while in the grips of PMS. As much sympathy as I have for this very real condition, I can’t accept blanket amnesty for being ugly, nasty, or hurtful. If you say things you don’t mean, you MUST make amends after you regain hormonal sanity.

Additionally, please don’t tell your husband he’s exaggerating or making it up. I’ve seen more than a few bouts of PMS insanity in my time, and a couple of those women were fast to tell anyone who would listen their husband was making it seem worse than it was. Frankly, some of those same men were being more than kind in how they described it. 

There is help for PMS; there are both natural and medical ways of making it less horrible for you and for those who love you. If it’s more than an annoyance for you, please get help for yourself and everyone else around you.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m glad I only have one hormone to worry about.

Related Post: Recently Lori wrote Hormones Rule

#PrayerPrompt: Ask God to help you stay focused on what you can do.

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