Arousal: It’s All In Your Mind

I find women are much more aware of the mental reality of sex than most men are. Because our bodies’ sexual reactions are so easy, obvious, and powerful, men tend to think sex is all, or almost all, about our bodies. This doesn’t mean we’re sexually unaffected by what’s going on between our ears, but it does mean we tend to be oblivious to it. What we don’t know can and does hurt us – and our wives. I’ve touched on some of these issues in several or the “Why does my husband want ____” posts.

Woman thinking about having sex © DDRockstar | AND © Dmitry Maslov |

Today I’d like to challenge you a bit on how your thoughts and feeling may be hurting or limiting you and your sex life with your husband. Much of what you feel about sex is not about your husband. Your wants and desires a shaped by:

  • How your mom felt about and talked about sex.
  • Body image – both general and how you feel about your sex organs.
  • Past experiences, from playing doctor and self-exploration to anyone you were sexual with before you met your husband.
  • Cultural rules and expectations, including those of the church.
  • Porn. Directly if you have watched it, and indirectly as some of your friends certainly have viewed it.
  • Various sexual guilts, fears, and expectations you brought into your marriage.

Odds are most of your sexual problems with your husband are not actually about him. I’m not saying he is innocent of wrong doing, but most of the problems would exist even if he had been sexually clean and perfect. Because he’s the man you have sex with, he gets to wear all your sexual baggage (just as you wear his) but most of it did not originate with him. If you can accept this as truth, it can radically change your sex life. If your husband can do the same thing with his stuff (I’m suggesting it tomorrow on The Generous Husband) amazing things can happen.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I praise God my wife and I did this!

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6 Comments on “Arousal: It’s All In Your Mind

  1. What if you ask your husband what his favorite sexual position is, and he says “the one where you…” BUT he forgets that he never did that position with you, but with his ex girlfriend? (Because he told you about it when you were young, unsaved, and dating). So now you’re upset because he just admitted that his favorite sex ever was with another woman and he doesn’t understand why you’re hurt (and he’s mad at himself for forgetting this was with another woman). So now there is no way I would ever do that position because I know he will be thinking of his ex girlfriend, because although he hasn’t spoken to her in 20 years and he dumped her, you now know he misses her and this “favorite” position. And if that were his favorite position, why did he never ask me to do it before? How do you get that out of your head? And he acts all sad that I’m so upset and he claims he doesn’t think about her, but if he’s remembering that position, he’s remembering her, because WE have never done that. And here’s the thing, I’d love to do it, it sounds romantic and fun, but I will not put myself in a position to be compared to her.

    • I’m impressed he thought it was with you. He’s not remembering his past girlfriend, he’s putting you into the memory instead. I totally get why you are hurt, and you are not wrong, but do understand what happened in his mind, and how it is a good thing.

      If he already thought he did this position with you, I’d say he will not be thinking of his ex if he does it with you. If anything I’d say not doing it with him is pushing him to think of the sex he had with her.

      Your husband chose you. He chose to marry you, and he chose to put you, not his ex, in one of his good sex memories. No, he’s not getting why his words hurt you, which is unfortunate. I think you are not getting what he is thinking and feeling, which is also unfortunate.

      Hope my perspective helps!
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Arousal: It’s All In Your MindMy Profile

  2. Thanks, Paul! Your perspective does help. Sometimes it helps to hear from a man who is not my husband, because I often think he is just saying what he thinks I want to hear, whereas you have no reason to do that. So the outside male perspective can be helpful. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    I’m thinking of giving in and trying this with him. I’m just so, so scared of being compared and found lacking. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take mental baggage and just toss it out like the kitchen garbage?

    • Yes it would be nice to be able to take out our mental trash easily!

      You said the position sounded like it would be “romantic and fun”, so don’t look at i as giving in, look at it as trying something you think would be romantic and fun.

      Praying for you!
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Bring Sex Out of the Church Closet!My Profile

  3. Hubby & I brought a lot of baggage from prior relationships. It used to be hard but God has delivered us from most of the old stinking thinking. I can be aroused & ready & hubby spews 30 min of negativity. (About work or kids or whatever is on his mind that day) That kills my aroused mood.

    • Most men can go from the bad stuff of the day to fully sexual in half a second, and we fail to understand women are not this way. Keep telling him, hopefully he will eventually get it!
      Paul Byerly recently posted…ChooseMy Profile

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