He Wants to use the Entire Playground
When Lori and I speak, we often use the playground metaphor to talk about sexuality. The playground has a fence. Things on the other side of the fence are unsafe or wrong. Things inside the fence are good and we can play on all those things.
For those who follow Jesus, God defines the playground fence. Anything that involves other people is outside the fence. There are other limitations (we have written about that on TMB), but there are still a great many toys inside the fence on which we can play.
In our experience, men want to play on more of the toys than women do. There are exceptions, but there seems to be a common gender difference. His natural sense of adventure causes him want to explore everything. Women are generally more reserved, and more influenced by negative cultural and religious influence.
Bottom Line: Your husband probably wants to play in more of the playground than you do. Please do not blame this on his porn use or past sin. While those things do have an effect, men free of those influences also want to explore most of the playground. His desire to play on all the toys is part of being a man; it is part of how God made him.
His Enthusiasm Can Be Annoying
Men hit marriage ready to explore the sexual playground. Try this; try that; can we hang upside down for this one? This feels frenetic to many women, which gets in the way of enjoying sex. Arguments and hard feeling are common, and sex can become a major source of frustration.
How do you get him to slow down? How do you get him to stop pushing for more and different?
- Accept him and his desires – so long as they are not sin. Accepting does not mean doing. You can agree the jungle-gym is okay and still not want to play on it. I understand agreeing it is okay means he will press you even more – see #2. Accepting what he wants tells him you do not think he is horrible or nasty. This will go a long way to healing the “you are a sex monster” wound most men have. Healing that wound will help your sex life and your marriage. Being the one who helped him heal that wound will make you special.
- Be honest with him about your limitations. Tell him you need to focus on a few things to be able to enjoy sex. Tell him pushing you to do new things makes you not want to have sex at all.
- Give him hope. Tell him you may reach a point where you will be able to try other things. Admit it will take far longer than he wants, but promise you will work on it.
- Really work on trying new things. Be willing to stretch, but do not allow it to hurt your existing enjoyment of sex. When you are willing to try something new, tell him you do not know how you will feel about it, but you are willing to try. After you try something ask for a bit of time to process, then discuss it.
- Be willing to do something just for him. I am not suggesting you do something that feels wrong or totally gross. If you do not enjoy something but it does not offend you, consider doing it for him on occasion. It is a gift, something you do out of love, no strings attached. If you do this, let him know you are giving him a gift, and ask if he is okay with that. Explain you do not enjoy the act, but you enjoy his enjoying it.
- Pray, pray, pray. You both have deep feelings and past wounds in your sexuality. You both have the potential to do things out of selfishness, or avoid things out of fear. Pray both of you will gain wisdom and become selfless.
~ Paul – I’m XY and I love to explore!