Is Sex Important to a Marriage.

RomanceCouple-240When I work on Rock His World, I feel sometimes like I spend a lot of time writing about the sexual dynamic of marriages.  I think, “Do I really need to spend so much time writing about the sexual aspect of marriage?”  After all, there is a lot more to marriage than sex and much of it is very important.  However, as I spend time talking with men, many of them faithful Christians, or I look around the net, I find that there are many Christians who are struggling with the sexual side of marriage.

969100_412367675540821_1019760124_nIt amazes me that an act that takes a relatively short time out of our day can bring so much stress to a relationship and that same act can also bring so much joy!  I believe that an investment of 15 to 30 minutes, 2 – 4 times a week, can make huge changes in a marriage.  To emphasize that point, I wonder how many wives would ignore their husbands if he were to come in and say, “Honey, we need to talk about something.” I suspect that most women would drop everything give that conversation their full attention, because they would see it as important and would be more than a little miffed with their husband if he did not give her the time she needed when she said, “Honey, we need to talk.”  It seems ironic tragic to me that wives will gladly give time to talk, but can’t seem to find time to make love to said husband.  Just as talking is important to you, so sex is to him.

I have to admit in my own marriage that at various times sex has been a struggle for us.  There are times sex binds us together and times that it drives a wedge between us.  I can say this, that when things are going well for us sexually, I feel empowered, I feel loved, I feel that we can face problems more unified than when we are struggling sexually.  This feeling of empowerment helps me in every area of my life, my family life, my job, my spiritual life, even my golf game or my running.

I wish I could say that sex is not a big thing and that I did not feel led to write about it as I do.  But the truth is, for almost all marriages sex is important. (I guess that there may be a few, probably very few, marriages were neither spouse cares about ever having sex and that for them it is not an issue.)  Outside of those rare instances, sex is  important to at least one of the people involved.  The research I have done seems to indicate that in about 2/3s of marriages it is the husband that has the higher sex drive, and in about 1/3 of marriages it is the wives who have the higher sex drive.

The-seduction-of-mysteryEvery marriage is different and how much sex means in each marriage is hard to determine. I would caution anyone to not write sex off as being unimportant. Don’t make the mistake of saying, “My marriage is the exception.”  If you are thinking that sit down with your spouse and have a lot of honest discussions about sex.  Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of believing that because your spouse is not asking you for sex, that everything is okay sexually and that they are no issues. If he or she has been rejected enough times, they will withdraw, because it is easier to deal with sexual frustration that dealing with sexual frustration and being rejected.  When you talk allow each other to express wants and needs without judging each other or getting mad about the truth.  You may not like what you hear in these honest discussions, but you need to hear it.  Don’t get mad at what you hear, instead, ask what you can do about the problem and then try to fix it.  If you are the low drive spouse in the family, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that because sex is not important to you that it is not important to your spouse or think that adding sex once more a month is going to solve the problem.

I believe there is a tendency for the high drive spouse to feel pressure to hide their true feelings about sex in their marriage. They are afraid that if they admit that sex is important to them that their low drive spouse will view them as a sex fiend, a perv, and shallow because they think sex is important.  There are a lot of men and women out there for whom sex is an important act and if it is not a regular part of their marriage, they feel like they are not truly loved, not truly fulfilled.

Different people have different reasons for why they feel that sex is so important.  It really does not matter why they think it is important, the fact that it is important to one of you, should make it become important to both of you.  That is what marriage is all about, caring for each other, loving each other, and meeting each other’s needs.  Besides, remember, sex can also be a whole lot of fun, when we let ourselves go, and let ourselves remember it’s okay to enjoy it with our spouses.

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57 thoughts on “Is Sex Important to a Marriage.

  1. Pingback: Is Sex a Need or a Want? | Love, Marriage and Sex

  2. Maybe the dilemma can be somewhat resolved by interpreting the various teachings of the bible. The Bible commands that we abstain from casual sex or sex out side of a commited relationship. If we never fall in love or commit to one person, we are commanded not to have sex. In the context of Biblical teaching, sex is a want outside of commited loving relationship and a need inside of one.
    Put another way, when there is love and commitment, sex is needed to maintain a lifelong commitment. That is not to say that sex is the only bonding element. It may be essential to obey the commandment to stay in love and commited long term.
    But what about men or women who don’t feel the need sex to maintain a connection. Does that mean the Biblical teaching apply to one person and not the other.
    I think the teachings are binding on both but in different ways. I can’t offer an opinion as to the different ways but it is one way of looking at the reality of disparate sexual desire in marriage.

  3. Okay, so I have read through a lot of the comments on here. And there is a lot going on. Love the arguments and different view points, and at the same time it hurts to see how some allow certain church thoughts and ideals to interfere with what God gave us. (“think of England” comes to mind) I’ll try to make brief my argument/opinion. READ THE SONG OF SOLOMON. Sodomy I believe was the homosexual acts of S&G, because if it were all, then why would God have allowed the Song of Solomon to be something we read in His Word? And when churches try to dumb it down to ONLY the love of Christ to the church (His bride) I come back with, Have you read the Kama Sutra? Do you realize the terminology used in SoS refers to very intimate sexual acts that are described in the Kama Sutra? Jewish boys were not even allowed to touch that book of the Torah until they were of age, because of how sexual it is! God meant for us to have fun with sex, with in the marriage.

    And Amy I feel for you ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! I literally thought I was reading my own story, except he just turned 30 and I am 28. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for my husband to lust for me. You know, walk in and throw me over the counter kind of thing. I would LOVE for him to not let the stress of work (military, desk job) and life (remodeling house, 3 yr old) belittle mine and his intimate time. And I don’t like feeling ashamed when I have to ask for sex, and get turned down. It makes me feel guilty, like I am a bother. Because after so long, I get tired of trying to be understanding and it comes to a boiling point. Sorry if tmi, but once or twice a month, really, hurts. I end up becoming very angry-to put it nicely. I know he loves me. When I try to initiate and I get that gentle let down, or the I’m too tired, he makes the statement, in a somewhat sorry voice that he does love me…but the next comment is usually the we don’t need sex to show we love each other. No, we don’t. But I do NEED it. And I have flat out asked, how he can sit and watch the tv for hours in bed if he is sooo tired, why not just go to sleep. And at that point I roll over and just ignore him. Oh and my hubby, isn’t the kind that I can use the “sex is a destresser” reasoning on. When he is stressed he shuts down even more.

    But Amy, I will be praying for you that God helps you and your man find a good middle ground!

    So my opinions:
    Yes we NEED it.
    and
    If it isn’t emotionally/physically hurting the spouse (in a way they do not like), it isn’t being forced upon them, then let them play!

    Y’all have a good night! 🙂

    • Tasha, thank you for your comments. I appreciate them. I am sorry about the particulars of you marriage, I can understand the pain that rejection causes. I am glad that you understand that he loves you, yet to one who derives love through sex, it is hard not to get discouraged. Hang in there, prayer can do amazing things.

      I also am sorry that historically the church has not done a good job of teaching sexuality. In trying to keep people who are not married for having sex, we have tended to make it seem that all sex is bad. Sex in marriage is good, is what God had planned for us. (Certainly, we are not talking forced sex, even in marriage that is wrong.)

      I read this one somewhere, “Sex is like air, you don’t think about it much until you don’t have it.”

      Welcome to Rock His World, I hope you will stop by often.

    • Tasha,
      Yeah, it’s not easy being the woman and rejected. I am happy to say though, that since the time I commented here, my hubby and I had a serious discussion. I too had gotten to a point where I was angry and I starting to resign to what was. I admit, I was not being very nice to him or speaking much to him. I was so hurt, feeling so rejected and so upset I was crying too much, but all in private.
      One morning he finally came out and asked me if there was something wrong (to which I almost exploded, because really, he didn’t think there was??), but I calmed myself down and finally told him.
      I tried not to cry, but finally allowed the tears to flow and went on to tell him how hurt I felt every time I initiated and he turned me down. I explained how I felt so stupid even bringing it up, again, but that I really felt the need for more sexual contact between us and how we only make love when he is ready, never when I want to. I told him how I try so hard to make sure he isn’t too tired, we have the house to ourselves and plan it all out, then on the rare occasion I approach him, I’m devastated to be turned down again. I sobbed out that he might find it really extra exciting too if we were to make love on those times that I was really hot and turned on…it wouldn’t take as long since I’d be warmed up already.
      I told him how much I love him and desire him, and although I believe he desires me too and that our lovemaking is out of this world, I just wish he wanted it as much as me.

      Well, he listened, hugged me, told me he loved me and said he would try harder to make it happen more. We discussed how his long work hours just drain him during the week and then on the weekends it is hard for much more than a one time love making session because he does best with a couple days rest in between. But he actually bought some herbal supplements to try and boost his libido so he could “keep up with me”! Whether it helps or not, just being able to share my heart and my pain, brought us closer and more on the same page.
      The frequency may not change much due to his work hours, but I feel I could go to him and say, “lover boy, come here, lover boy” and he would at least try! LOL

      It sounds like your husband loves you from the way you described your situation, he just views sex differently than you. And it hurts you more I think, because it’s more uncommon for a man to take that viewpoint of sex not being very important or at least not necessary to show love in a marriage.
      You might consider getting the book 31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila Gregoire…I just got it in a bundle package and I love what I’ve read so far.
      And if you haven’t already, sit down for a serious talk. I know I get in the mindset that he should just know what is wrong, but we have to say it out loud, we have to share our hearts, pain, love, all of it openly to create a more intimate marriage.

      And one more thing I will add that I discovered in my situation…what helps get me through the dry spells of the work week, is just having plenty of physical contact with hubby. Lots of cuddling, lots of kissing and hearing him tell me that he desires me even if he is too tired. I told him that I’m not just some sex-craved lunatic that only desires sex, it’s the physical contact, the closeness, the intimacy that creates for me. He smiled and told me how grateful he was to have a sex-craved wife! 😉

      Sweet dreams!

  4. Tonight I was Reading The Generous Husband – http://www.the-generous-husband.com/2011/10/17/wants-versus-needs/ – I thought this was relevant to the whole discussion of wants and needs.
    ______________________
    A couple of years ago I wrote Wants versus Needs in which I said true needs are very few – air, food, water, shelter, and a few more. I also pointed out that we need more than just those things to be emotional and mentally healthy.

    Yet, couples will try to defend saying no to something with “It’s a want, not a need.” It seems to me if you only feel obliged to provide what your spouse “needs” you are not acting out of love.
    _____________________
    Great thoughts – Wish I would have said it as well!!

  5. I completely agree with you here. I was in a sexual refusal marriage for years before I found freedom. I was the refuser, and I went for a long time thinking my husband was happy because he only complained every once in a while, when in reality, he was miserable. I like what you said here “when things are going well for us sexually, I feel empowered, I feel loved, I feel that we can face problems more unified than when we are struggling sexually.” I think sex with your spouse is very empowering for both parties. Many women say they don’t want to feel “used” but honestly, I think that’s a cop-out, and I can say that because I’ve used that line. Really, having regular sex should make a woman feel sexy, confident and connected to her husband. I find it flattering and sexy when my husband wants me, even if I don’t necessarily want it right then. I use the passage from 1 Corinthians often as well, as it does explicitly state that we should be making love to our spouse on a regular basis. Sexual refusal is a sin, when done constantly and continuously by either spouse, there is no question. It is an explicit cause for the higher sex drive spouse to stumble, and that is not part of the loving partnership God designed for marriage. Great post!

    • Thank you for that comment. I appreciate it. I know that in many cases it takes time for the denier to realize the pain and hurt that they cause their partner who is the HSD. Sex is something that should bind couples together. I understand that sometimes sex is off the table, but those times should be rare.

  6. If your spouse doesn’t want to take 15 minutes out of his/her day to “have sex” with you, there is likely a very good reason why. It may have to do with how you view physical intimacy and its purpose in marriage. Maybe your spouse is tired of feeling used. Maybe he/she wants more from the marital act than to be an instrument for you to achieve the “big O”. The following article might help you understand what is going wrong–why neither you nor your spouse are satisfied: http://fallibleblogma.com/index.php/lusting-for-your-wife/

    • Interesting comment and interesting article. I would have to do a little research on their definition of lust, not sure if it is accurate. In addition, it is very easy to have a desire for your spouse, a sexual desire and it not be lust. If your complaint is that 15 is too short, then take longer, I know a lot of people who would prefer longer sessions, but are often dealing with the LDS spouses who want to keep things as short as possible.

      If there is a reason why one spouse does not want to have sex, then that is something that needs to be worked out. It is not okay to say, “I have a good reason for not wanting sex and I will not try to fix this problem.” That is not love, that is selfishness. Like it or not, sex is a part of marriage. If there is a problem, then it has to be worked out. The Bible is pretty clear about this:
      I Cor 7:3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I think it is pretty plain there, we are to fulfill each other’s sexual needs.

      In reality, there are several arguments I could make, but I will just finish with this. For many people, they feel love and express love through physical touch. If you deny your spouse sex, they will see it as rejecting them, rejecting there ability to give love to their spouse, and that the denying spouse is withholding love. Those perceptions will not change just because the denying spouse wants them to, or does not like it. If you deny a spouse, chances are that you will loose a lot of the closeness and intimacy that make a marriage more than a friendship.

      • Sex is intensely, wonderfully pleasurable, however it is *not* a need. Some people live without it their whole lives–and yet, they live! A person’s spouse may become ill or permanently disabled so that sex is no longer the most “important” factor in their marriage. Marriage is more than friendship, not because of the physical act of intercourse, but because Christ makes it so “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

        Look, I speak from experience. I’ve been married for 25 years and have five children. Sex is delightful–but so is everything about my husband. The point of my comment was to help others understand why sex may have become an ugly business in their marriage. If you have a high sex drive, and your spouse has a low sex drive, then *both* of you need to sacrifice and submit to the other in love through Christ Jesus. Christ must be in the marriage bed with you–in your heart, in your thoughts, in your actions.

        “Now for the matters you wrote about: ‘It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.’ 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.” (1Cor. 7:1+2)– You neglected to share this essential part of the passage. : )

      • I have to disagree with you that sex is not a need. The presence of testosterone in a male’s body indicates to him that he needs a sexual release, much like the signals sent to the brain when we are hungry or thirsty. This article by Focus on the Family http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/sex_and_intimacy/understanding-your-husbands-sexual-needs/sex-is-a-physical-need.aspx explains more about this. Men do not experience sexual urges in the same way as women.

        That being said, you mentioned people who go without sex, yet still live. I have to ask…people live without the Holy Spirit as well (as long as they are on the earth), but does that mean they are living the fulfilling and satisfying existence that God meant for them? Those Godly people who do give up sex willingly, such as priests, are doing it as a sacrifice, and in honor of God. A man (or woman) who is being denied sex by his spouse is not giving up sex in a way that glorifies God, but rather, he is being denied the spiritual one-ness that is the very elixir of marriage. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.

        That being said, I don’t think women should be sex slaves to their spouses (I agree there must be a compromise), but we need to be reasonable about it and trying to tell a man that sex isn’t a physical need, and therefor he shouldn’t want it, is not only biologically and psychologically inaccurate, but is shaming something that should be glorified, as far as God is concerned.

        I also speak from experience in a different realm. In addition to being married 7 years with two children, I am also a professional mental health counselor.

        P.S. I like debating this topic. And I’m looking forward to addressing this on my own blog!

      • I believe there are times when couples can’t have sex. Illness, pregnancy, menstrual cycles, I get those times, in addition, I see that there are times of stress and exhaustion, I understand that during those times there will probably a diminished sex life. However, both spouses should do what they can to bridge the gap and to have a happy healthy sex life.

      • Wow, been a little busy with life and was not able to drop in and interact. I think I will comment on each thread of the discussion instead of something over all.

        Is sex a need? Good question, I guess I would say that it is a gift from God, it is a gift to married spouses. I can’t see why anyone would not want to regularly participate in that gift and there are very few good reasons for not having sex. Can and man and woman live without ever having sex? Yes. But that does not give justification for not having sex on a regular basis. In fact denying your spouse sex except in specific cases is sinful.

        The whole point of my post is to help people, both men and women understand that sex is an important part of a marriage. It is not something that is just throw away, something that is just for fun. It is something that should bind and unite spouses together, yet when it is denied, it brings hurt. I believe that there are way to many people who are pushing sex to the back burner because they don’t think it is important and I know people are being hurt because of that, I want to try to help keep that from happening.

        Concerning the Corinthian passage, I am impressed that you looked it up and that you point out those first two verses. I think though the real context of those verses comes in verse 6 & 7.
        I Cor 7:6-7 But this I say by way of concession, not of command. 7 [c]Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.
        Also I would add verse I Cor. 7:26 I think then that this is good in view of the [o]present distress, that it is good for a man [p]to remain as he is.
        I believe Paul is basically saying, “It is better for people to remain single.” Probably do to the persecution and Paul’s understanding that being married takes time and effort away from time that could be spent serving the Lord.

        It probably could best be summed this way: It would be best not to marry, but if you going to marry then don’t deny each other the sexual relations.

        It seems that once people decide to get married then they have certain obligations, if they don’t carry those out, they are in the wrong.

      • I have to agree with Bonnie. Sex is a need, or, at the very least a mandate by Paul. There is one group of people that are called to live sexless, it’s eunuchs – and they are indeed called by God, or made by man. A person cannot be a eunuch and be married at the same time. To deny your spouse sex is to force them to burn with desire.

      • Robyn:
        Huh. All this time I thought that single people were called by Christ to live without it. Eunuchs only. And priests. Got it.

        Bonnie:
        Sex is a biological need for men but not for women. Interesting design plan. At least nuns have it easy. : )

        Please show me where in my comments that either of you got the idea that I said wives should deny husbands sex. I feel like my comments have been completely misread.

        I don’t know whether to be flattered or dismayed that my comments have received attention from other readers. I am certainly surprised–especially considering some of the other comments below. Within the bounds of marriage, sexually speaking anything goes. Right? I mean, so long as both spouses agree. (Who cares what the Lord thinks!) I recommend Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s excellent book about the gift of sexuality: _Life Giving Love_.

        I would like to add that most people’s sex drive fluctuates. Sometimes it’s high, sometimes it’s low, but most of the time it’s somewhere in between. We need to be careful not to create a myth around the idea that couples consist of one HD person and one LD person. I also do not like the idea that when a person is going through an HD period she/he *needs* sexual intercourse to feel loved. Every argument about how an HD person feels pain and rejection when she/he doesn’t get sex can be turned around thusly: The LD person feels pain and unloved when his/her spouse makes constant sexual demands. It is my observation that either way selfishness is at the heart of the relationship. The focus is on *me* and what I want.

        We are all called to live chaste lives–either within marriage or as singles. It is up to each Christian to abide in Christ, study the holy Scriptures, and discover what that means.

      • “Sex is a biological need for men but not for women. Interesting design plan. At least nuns have it easy. : )”

        Yes. That is correct. It is physical for men and emotional for women. Women do not have testicles that build up sperm. We don’t need sex to release an egg. It just happens.

        And no one has said that “anything goes, who cares what the Lord thinks” in regards to sex. IMHO, sex involves one married man and woman only, in an consensual respectful environment, with no other participants either directly or indirectly (watching) in a way that meets the needs and wants of both partners. Aside from that, yes anything goes, and I deeply believe that the Lord is fine with freedom in marriage sexually to include things like anal sex, sex toys, bondage, role play and the like. If you can find otherwise in the Scripture, please feel free to share.

        On you last point, I am in agreement. Sex drive certainly fluctuates. I won’t say that my sex drive was the same after the birth of my daughter 6 months ago as it is today or as it was when me and the hubby were first married. Which is why I said we are not sex slave to our spouse. We are not a hole to put it in or a stick to sit on. Sex is an intimate, spiritual act and I am not arguing that. What I am arguing against is spouses who CONTINUALLY deny their husband or wife on a regular basis. Not every once in a while. And I believe that is what this article was about as well (correct me rockhisworld if I’m wrong). There is a difference between having a temporarily low sex drive and denying your spouse every day for years to the point where he or she stops asking for it because they feel guilty for being the sexual beings God created them to be.

        The reason I feel strongly about that is because I WAS the refuser for many years and it deeply affected my husband. When we did have sex it was duty sex and I was very much “hurry up and get it over with” about every sexual encounter. I was convicted on this because what I was doing was a sin. My husband DID need sex, as he had not (and will never) complete a vow of celibacy and it was wrong of me to consistently deny him of that. He needed it for physical reasons, and I didn’t realize it, but I needed it for emotional/psychological reasons. Now we are both more satisfied in all of those areas. I think we may agree with each other more than we seem to be, but we are obviously viewing it from differing perspectives!

      • Bonnie, you are right, I am talking about those spouses who continually refuse sex. I understand that it probably won’t happen ever time a spouse asks, but I think once or twice a month is right either if one of the spouses is thinking about a couple of times a week. I had one friend who confided to me that it have been 7 years since he had sex with his wife. He was hurt and ashamed to tell me.

        I sure don’t know where the “anything goes, who cares what the Lord thinks” part got started, but I know it does not reflect my beliefs nor do I think it reflects most of the people who read and comment on this one.

        The only thing I would add to your list Bonnie is physical harm. I don’t think we should participate in things that that will physically harm us or out spouse.

      • Susan, I too am amazed at how this post has garnered so much attention and so many comments.

        My position is simple, Sex is important to a marriage. I don’t think either partner should be a sex slave to the other, they have to come together and find a compromise that helps both partners. That is the Godly thing to do!

      • @ Susan: “Huh. All this time I thought that single people were called by Christ to live without it. Eunuchs only. And priests. Got it. ”

        Yes that’s true. Called to be a eunuch by choice of service to God (“single” or “priest” as you say; although one doesn’t need to be a ‘priest’ to choose to be a eunuch). Or, forced to be a eunuch by man (this one not so much anymore on our side of the world). Or, born to be a eunuch (basically born without the parts for reproduction). Not my definition, it comes from Thayer’s and Strong’s definitions.

        If you can be married and having sex, you should be. Or, be a eunuch – but you cannot be a married eunuch. Again, not my directions, but Jesus’: Matt 19:11-12:

        “But He said to them, Not all men can accept this saying, but it is for those to whom [the capacity to receive] it has been given. For there are eunuchs who have been born incapable of marriage; and there are eunuchs who have been made so by men; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves incapable of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let him who is able to accept this accept it.”

      • Hi Bonnie,

        There is nothing about sex toys and bondage in the Bible. You want to follow the “letter of the Law” here, when we are called to the follow the Spirit of God’s Word:

        Hebrews 13:4
        May marriage be honorable in every way, and may the marriage bed be immaculate. For God will judge fornicators and adulterers.

        1 Corinthians 6:12-14
        12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.

        Romans 6:12+13
        “12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

        Romans 8:6
        If our minds are ruled by our desires, we will die. But if our minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life and peace. (CEV)

        Colossians 3:5
        So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. (NLT)

        1 Corinthians 6:18
        Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. (NIV)

        Galatians 5:19
        When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures … (NLT)

        1 John 2:16
        For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. (NIV)

        Mark 7:20-23
        And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” (NLT)

        Ephesians 4:19
        Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. (NIV)

        Ephesians 5:3
        Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. (NLT)

        1 Thessalonians 4:3–7
        God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. Never harm or cheat a Christian brother in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. (NLT)
        ________________________________

        Until very recently, the tradition of the faith has defined divinely ordained marital relations as that which are natural and open to life. Sodomy is absolutely considered a sexually immoral act in Holy Scripture. Using sex toys is unnatural and not open to life. Sex becomes immoral in marriage when the focus is on lust and pleasure rather than mutual self-donation of life giving love.

        Saint Augustine of Hippo, in his moral treatise ‘On the Good of Marriage,’ writes on the subject of sexual intercourse::

        “…nor be changed into that use which is against nature, on which the Apostle (Paul) could not be silent, when speaking of the excessive corruptions of unclean and impious men…. by changing the natural use into that which is against nature, which is more damnable when it is done in the case of husband or wife.”

        The teaching of the Christian church has always been that certain kinds of sexual acts are intrinsically disordered and always gravely immoral. Such acts cannot be justified in any circumstance, for any reason, regardless of intention, even within marriage.

        Now, you wrote that sex is physical for men and emotional for women. This actually works against the blog author’s argument in this post, as he says that men feel loved when they have sex. I believe that sex is physical, emotional, and spiritual for ALL people, even if they do nor realize it–and the powers of darkness take advantage of this.

        I maintain that sex is not a “need”. However, supposing it were a need like food. We can all agree that it is gluttony to eat indiscriminately or too much or only for pleasure. It is also unhealthy. The same is true for sex. Christians are called to surrender themselves to the Spirit and to practice self-control in all things. The purpose of sex within marriage is communion of husband and wife, body, blood (bodily fluids), soul, and divinity, just as Christ gives himself in Communion–it is not about getting one’s rocks off.

        I will reiterate that I never said anything about wives denying husbands sex. What I said was that if you have problems in this area, it could be because of the way you and your spouse view sex. It is sad to me that there is so much discord and unhappiness in Christian marriages today. 60 percent of those who identify themselves as Christians divorce, and 38 percent of Christians who regularly attend religious services divorce. Clearly there is something amiss. I believe that it is couples’ sexual attitudes, which–from the comments in this thread–are no different from the world’s. People are learning about sex from pop culture rather than from the church. Heck, even the church today is turning to pop psychology rather than to traditional church teaching, the scriptures, and prayer.

        Well, I have given all of the time I have to give to this topic. : ) I pray that the conversation we have shared here will lead us both to seek God’s will for marriage.

        Peace keep you, sister. ♥

      • Personally, I give no credence to St. Augustine, who also called women “the devil’s door: through them Satan creeps into men’s hearts and minds and works his wiles for their spiritual destruction.” St. Augustine, who had an illegitimate son and two mistresses, was a member of the Manichean sect, who believed that Adam and Eve were the offspring of the Devil’s children and believed sex to be a “necessary evil” which was permissible, but was not to be enjoyed. Clearly, Song of Solomon indicates otherwise. 🙂

        In any case, the Scripture you referenced is referring to sexual addiction and sexual immorality, fornication, adultery, impurity and sexual idolatry. I do not consider a husband and wife engaging in light bondage or role play to fall into any of these categories and I do not feel that to be “defiling” the marriage bed. I do not see any indication of such in the Scripture you provided unless one spouse has a strong conviction against certain sexual practices, in which case, yes, it is certainly a sin.

        “The teaching of the Christian church has always been that certain kinds of sexual acts are intrinsically disordered and always gravely immoral. Such acts cannot be justified in any circumstance, for any reason, regardless of intention, even within marriage.”

        Agreed. Sexual addiction, adultery, bestiality, incest, homosexuality, fornication. What I’m describing contains none of those. And if you want to talk about the perversion of sex in the Christian Church, I have written an extensive post about how that has happened as a result of MAN, not GOD. We cannot confuse the ignorant opinions of men such as St. Augustine of Hippo with God’s word. Unfortunately that has been a problem for centuries. http://www.lovemarriagesex.com/2013/10/when-did-sex-become-perverted.html

        “Now, you wrote that sex is physical for men and emotional for women. This actually works against the blog author’s argument in this post, as he says that men feel loved when they have sex.”

        They feel loved because of the PHYSICAL connection. We feel loved because of the EMOTIONAL connection. I’m not saying sex is only physical for men and only emotional for women. I’m saying that the motivation for sex is primarily physical for men (and they have a physical need for it) and it is primarily emotional for women.

        “We can all agree that it is gluttony to eat indiscriminately or too much or only for pleasure. It is also unhealthy. The same is true for sex.”

        Agreed. I am not discussing sexual addiction here. I’m talking about reasonable regular sex between spouses.

        “I believe that it is couples’ sexual attitudes, which–from the comments in this thread–are no different from the world’s. People are learning about sex from pop culture rather than from the church. Heck, even the church today is turning to pop psychology rather than to traditional church teaching, the scriptures, and prayer.”

        I’m unsure how the comments have shown that our attitudes are no different from the world’s? I feel certain the “world” views sex as something casual and separate from a relationship with God. Everyone here has agreed that sex is a big, important part of marriage, which is what Paul has asserted and is what is assumed from the ENTIRE book of Song of Solomon. If the disciples were ok discussing sex, why are we? The perversion of sex came from man, and it is clear that God wants us to enjoy each other sexually. He designed the orgasm mean to “get our rocks off”. How are orgasms as semblance of the evil of the world? And not all psychology is “pop psychology”. I personally adhere to empirical research conducted through random sampling and quantitative statistical methods. God also created science, by the way.

        In any case, we obviously disagree here, so good night, and thanks for caring enough to at least discuss the topic! 🙂

      • Speaking of pop psychologist, well kind of, I know of a few philosophers that have a said things about women that make Augustine’s comments seem tame. But they are all wrong. God warned husbands to treat their wife with understanding and honor lest our prayers don’t get answered. (1 Peter 3:7)

        Speaking of proper husbandly treatment of wives, check out my post on Biblical Submission: There is more than you think!

        Thank you for your comments!

      • Yes, Robyn, we should be as ‘iron sharpening iron’ sharing our different perspectives, learning from each other the things we do not yet know, and seeking truth. I attempted to present a different perspective—one that has nothing to do with refusing your spouse (as I stated over and over) or abstaining from enjoyable, fulfilling sex. Instead of trying to grasp the ideas behind my perspective (life giving love is at the heart of marital intimacy) it was assumed that I am a prudish wife in a sexless marriage!

        I have actually learned quite a bit in this conversation and plan to research several questions on my own as a result:

        *if St. Paul’s verses about immorality are really about sexual addiction (as someone in our conversation suggested), then how should we sexual addiction be defined?

        *If sex toys, “lite” bondage and role playing are acceptable to God in marriage, how about strong bondage and role playing? How does a person know when her/his sexual practices cross the line and displease God? If the line is only crossed when one displeases their spouse, then can I assume that a) anything goes as long as it is agreeable, and b) God and faith should be left out of the bedroom?

        *What is the difference between loving desire for one’s spouse and lust? If a Christian “hears or reads about something” (as one commenter said below) which arouses his/her curiosity so that he/she thinks about these things and wants to try them with his/her spouse, is this lust or love for one’s spouse? Where does a person learn about sex toys and bondage and the like? From the Bible? From Church? From other believers? From the sex/pornography industry?

        As you can see, I am interested in learning about the ideas you shared.
        .
        However, I do not believe that anyone involved in this conversation is interested in learning about mine, or sharpening your iron in a way that challenges where you are now . . . If I am wrong, here are two short articles that give better insight into the ideas I was trying to share:

        http://www.chastity.com/chastity-qa/birth-control/morality/why-catholic-church-again

        http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt67.html

        I feel like you were debating *me*—the prudish wife (or so you assumed)—rather than the perspective/article I presented in my original comment. (I wonder if anyone besides RHS took the time to read that article.) However, I realize that I did a very poor job communicating throughout this conversation. My fault! I apologize for causing the misunderstanding.

        I think the firestorm of comments began after I wrote that sex is not a need. I wrote that because, while sex is very important to marriage, it is not the most important thing. The most important thing is Christ. (I’m sure we all agree!) Other readers who may be struggling with sex, or who may not be able to have sex (due to illness/disability), and already feel tremendous guilt and sorrow about it for their spouse’s sake, may come away thinking that their marriage is doomed to fail. I wanted to guard against that, but I realize I did a horrible job of it.

        Bonnie,
        I just want to say, that your heartfelt words meant a lot to me. You seem like a genuinely kind person, and I enjoyed reading your point of view. ♥

        Here is a short article that presents a different perspective on St. Augustine, if you are interested:
        Augustine on Women:
        http://heritage.villanova.edu/vu/heritage/allthings/2001SU.htm

        May the Lord bless each one of us as we seek His will in our marriages ♥

      • I love your questions! I plan to do some further research and try to answer them on my own blog. I like things that challenge me. Much less boring than preaching to the choir! And I’ll check out the articles you posted as well. 🙂

    • Susan –

      Is sex a need? I believe that within marriage it is. Perhaps not a physical need in the sense we would die without it, but I do believe that without regular sex between spouses there is an emotional and spiritual death in the marriage over time. Having sex with out spouse is the closest form of relationship we have with anyone and it does keep us connected on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. It is important for the health of a marriage.

      “…supposing it were a need like food. We can all agree that it is gluttony to eat indiscriminately or too much or only for pleasure. It is also unhealthy. The same is true for sex.”
      I do not believe wanting and having too much sex within marriage is unhealthy or considered gluttony…very different from having self control and not over-eating. That makes us unhealthy and causes problems within our bodies. Too much sex is not a bad thing and actually has many health benefits! God calls us to enjoy each other sexually within marriage. I don’t believe He would design our bodies for that purpose and then not want us to fully enjoy our spouse sexually. But certainly, you can have a spouse that is selfish and only wanting sex for their own gratification and has no desire to please their spouse. In a case like that, I would question how healthy that marriage is not only inside, but outside of the bedroom as well. When two people join together in matrimony, they promise to join together in all ways, including sexual intimacy. In a healthy marriage, two people wanting to have sex often is a good thing, but it comes down to both spouses agreeing on the frequency. Communication is the key to a healthy, satisfying sex life for both spouses.

      You also say “We are all called to live chaste lives–either within marriage or as singles.”
      I completely disagree and the scripture you included, I Cor 7:1-2 even tells us that if we marry we are to have sex with our spouse. If you are single and feel called by God to live a life of abstinence and can avoid sexual temptation, then remain chaste and single. But if you choose to marry, you do not choose to stay chaste. That doesn’t make sense.
      I often wonder when we post comments if our spouses reading our comments would agree with what we wrote. Does your husband agree that it’s important to have self-control and remain chaste within your marriage?

      If one spouse is not wanting to have sex very often, then it’s vital to communicate with each other as to why. Certainly there are factors such as age, having children, illness, etc, which can affect our sex drives throughout our lives and therefore, I agree that each season of life may cause a higher or lower drive in each spouse. But again, it’s important to communicate our feelings and desires with our spouse to assure that each is getting their needs and desires met.

      “The purpose of sex within marriage is communion of husband and wife, body, blood (bodily fluids), soul, and divinity, just as Christ gives himself in Communion–it is not about getting one’s rocks off.”
      So, if sex is about communion between a husband and a wife, then shouldn’t we be doing it often? A sexual relationship is not just about “getting one’s rocks off” as crudely put as it were, but as you stated, it’s the joining of body and soul between spouses, and it is through that joining together that we keep the most intimate connection alive with our spouse. In no other relationship, do we, or should we, experience such closeness and love towards our spouse. And God says for each of us to give our body to our spouse to enjoy and take pleasure in, so why not “get our rocks” off too while delighting in each other! My husband says there is no better foreplay for him, than to give me the extreme pleasure of an orgasm. And God obviously designed our bodies for that pleasure, especially a woman, since there is absolutely no other purpose to the clitoris than for pleasure. So if I ‘get my rocks off’ during sex with my husband, it just turns an amazingly pleasurable experience, into an extremely, completely satisfying experience…for both of us. 🙂

      So, all that to say, that I totally agree that sex is important to a marriage and was designed by God for us to enjoy within the confines of marriage.

      • Should have read: “In no other relationship, do we or should we, experience such closeness and love as we do towards our spouse.”

        Gotta start proof reading better! 😉

      • To Everyone:
        The conversation, following “Rock His World’s” excellent blog post (which I agreed with, by the way), has been a frustrating and negative experience for me. I wrote my initial comment to help others who might be facing sexual refusal from their spouse. I believe that my comments have been read in an uncharitable light and have not been given thoughtful consideration. It appears that we are in agreement on most points, yet you have responded to me as if we are not. I feel confused and alienated. Do none of you disagree with *any* of the points made by the other commenters? Why aren’t you responding to them, as well?

        Here is a brief summary of the points I made:
        1) I believe sexuality is a gift from God to married couples to enjoy as frequently as they choose.
        2) I believe that it is sin for one spouse to use sex in a selfish/contentious way, either by withholding or demanding it.
        3) I believe that certain sexual acts are sinful. These acts are: sodomy, bestiality, fornication, adultery, rape, incest, and that which is unnatural and not open to life.

        Do we disagree on any of these points?

        The point on which we do disagree is whether or not sex is a need. Please show me the person who has died from lack of sex. For every marriage that you say has “died” from lack of sex, I can show you a marriage that has thrived without it. I think that some of you have taken this to mean that I don’t think married people should have sex and have it frequently with joy and abandon–nothing could be further from the truth! I have just been trying to make a distinction between a true biological need and a biological urge. I never said that marriage does not benefit from sex. Of course it does.

        Bonnie:
        I think you may have projected your own life experiences into the substance of my comments, thus unintentionally misinterpreting my meaning.

        The things that you wrote about St. Augustine are very misleading since they took place before his conversion to Christianity. A person could cast King David’s reputation in the same unkind light: he was, after all, an adulterer and murderer, yet who can deny that he wrote some of the most beautiful and meaningful portions of scripture? Indeed, God called him a man after his own heart. Although St. Augustine’s writings are not scripture, they are an important part of sacred teaching and are constantly referenced by clergy of all denominations.

        Sex is physical and emotional for both men and women. If either the physical pleasure or emotional (bonding) aspect is missing, then a sexual problem exists. As a mental health care worker, you may have worked with couples in which one spouse has had multiple sex partners before marriage. This partner may now struggle with the emotional-bonding aspect of sex, as he/she has had to psychologically harden him/herself to the effects of the bonding hormones that are released during sexual climax–or else bear the burden of being emotionally bonded/attached to many different living partners. This spouse learned, before marriage, to focus exclusively on the physical pleasure of sex. This can have a devastating effect on marital relations in the bedroom.

        Amy:
        From the free dictionary-
        Chaste: Morally pure in thought or conduct; decent and modest.

        I never said that married couples should not enjoy sex together as often as they wish. I maintain that the purpose of sex is complete self-sharing in love. Climax is part of the experience, but should not be the focus (as in an encounter with a prostitute or masturbation). I agree that in no other relationship we experience such closeness (although carrying, birthing, and nursing an infant comes very close).

        My husband agrees with everything I wrote—he sat by my side last night and I shared my comments with him. We enjoy a vibrant, active, healthy sex life. You have wrongly inferred what my marriage is like.

        I am very sorry that I commented here at all.

        May God bless you and keep your marriages strong. ♥

      • This is iron sharpening iron Susan. Part of being in healthy relationships is the freedom to disagree and be vulnerable. You shared your thoughts, others shared theirs. They don’t meet up. There is nothing wrong with that. When we share our thoughts with the motive to change others it’s wrong. But to just respond with a different view in conversation, there is nothing wrong with that.

      • Susan,

        I honestly do apologize for making this a negative experience. I think that, with this being such an emotionally charged subject, we can get defensive sometimes. As to your points, I agree with 1 and 2, and most of 3, although I do believe the most Christian denominations (with the exclusion of Catholicism) no longer believe that all sexual intercourse must be, as you put it, “open to life”. I also believe that sodomy, as referred to in the Scripture, refers to anal sex between two men, or homosexual sex.

        A pastoral commentary on one blog puts it nicely:

        “the acts of the people of Sodom were indeed sinful and we too would be sinning if we behaved in the same manner. But, is anal sex between a man and wife equivalent to today’s standard definition of sodomy? I would have to say, according to the Bible, no. It is true that homosexual men engage in anal sex but it is also true that they engage in oral sex. They also hold hands and kiss one another. Does the fact that a homosexual does these things too mean that heterosexuals are forbidden to do these acts as well? It most certainly does not. I believe that God created our desires and it is we who have perverted it. God gave sex to us as a gift for a husband and a wife to share and it is we who have perverted that. Homosexual sex was stolen from heterosexuals, not the other way around. We can conclude that anal sex or any sex by a homosexual is sin. We can also conclude that according to the Bible anal sex, oral sex, or any sex by an unmarried heterosexual couple is sin too. But if you are married and both partners agree to any sex act within the confines of your marriage bed, it is indeed pure.”

        Either way, I think it is up to a married couple to decide for themselves how they choose to express their love in a sexual sense, as long as it is not a sin that is “expressly” forbidden in Scripture.

        And while St. Augustine’s sexual sins were committed prior to conversion, his attitude about sex and women continued until his death. And yes, I know that, unfortunately, he is still quoted by clergy, which indicates how the portrayal of sex (not immoral sex, ANY sex) as something “sinful” and “of the devil” has transgressed centuries, leading to the perversion of sex in the Church today.

        Post-conversion:
        “What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman… I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children.” -St. Augustine of Hippo

        “Nothing is so much to be shunned as sex relations.” -St. Augustine of Hippo

        But you have the right to interpret Scripture and express sex in your marriage however you want to, as do I. And there were other comments I didn’t necessarily agree with either, they were just already addressed by other commenters so that’s why I didn’t say anything.

        I understand how you feel alienated and attacked (trust and believe I’ve been on the other side!), but please don’t feel that way. I enjoy debating, especially heated topics like this. I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings. There are minor things we disagree on and that is ok! As Robyn said, this is iron sharpening iron. If we want to be the warriors that we need to be the salt of the Earth, we can’t be afraid to defend ourselves! Thanks for the opportunity, and I hold no ill feelings towards you or anyone else.

        God bless you and your marriage! 🙂

      • Susan,

        I’m sorry that this was a negative experience for you, but again, your comments really did border more on the side of sex is NOT important nor necessary within marriage. I think if you were to go back and reread your first comment you may see how it could be misinterpreted.
        I reread your first comment several times trying to figure out what you were trying to communicate. My initial reaction to it, was that you were a wife who dislikes sex, sees it as an obligation and feels that husbands only want to have sex for one thing, physical release. And after rereading it again, I still get that same feeling. But obviously you have now cleared up where you were coming from.

        “The point on which we do disagree is whether or not sex is a need. Please show me the person who has died from lack of sex. For every marriage that you say has “died” from lack of sex, I can show you a marriage that has thrived without it.”
        Yes, I do disagree with this and honestly am a little baffled on this one point you keep trying to make. Perhaps I didn’t read RHW’s post or another comment closely enough, but I don’t remember reading where someone ever said that sex is a need.
        My view on this, as I already stated, that although no one ever physically died from lack of sex with their spouse, marriages do not thrive. I think as RHW stated in his post, just because one spouse has stopped asking or seems okay with little to no sex, does not mean they are not yearning for it or not desiring it. A marriage thriving without sex? I would strongly doubt that.
        Marriages dying from lack of it? Definitely. I know too many people personally, women, that just don’t get it. They think their husbands are sex fiends who only want one thing and I can tell you, they have very little intimacy left in their marriages.
        So let’s say sex is not a need, well then, neither is there a need to control our finances in a marriage. I mean come on, will you die if you don’t balance your checkbook and get overdrawn in your bank account?? No! But it will sure cause misery with your finances and bill collectors! Not to mention the tension and stress it will cause between spouses.

        Sex is a connection between husband and wife that God created. Period. If there were not a need for it within marriage then God would not have designed us to experience it. And of course, there may be circumstances which make sexual intercourse impossible or harder, but there is always going to be that need for husband and wife to connect sexually even without intercourse.

        As far as your summary of what you believe, I don’t disagree with those points, but honestly, you did not really come across making those points clearer earlier on.

        From the Free Dictionary:
        chaste: Abstaining from all sexual intercourse; celibate.

        This is the definition I felt you were using in one of your comments which I commented on. Guess we both were using a different definition of the work, therefore, I had the wrong interpretation of what you wrote. 😉

        🙂

  7. I am having a difficult time here. There are so many topics I could address. I will try to either limit my reply or split it up in some way. I really need to start a blog and quite hi-jacking everyone else’s.

    “…there is a tendency for the high drive spouse to feel pressure to hide their true feelings about sex in their marriage. They are afraid that if they admit that sex is important to them that their low drive spouse will view them as a sex fiend, a perv, and shallow because they think sex is important.”

    There is another side to this particular dilemma that has nothing is not driven by frequency. As we age, our physical sensitivities and biological responses can change. What once felt good may no longer feel as good or even good at all. The physical contact side of sex may need to be tweaked. We may have to be touched in a different way in different places than before. Here, not there. Firmer, not so softly. Not sufficiently aroused or as easily aroused. Not firm enough; not wet enough. You will have to make these changes known to your spouse. This can be very difficult if vulnerable communication is met with a lack of openness. How do you tell you partner that sex with them is not as good as it once was without sounding negative and judgmental? How do you tell them if you feel you are being seen as overly occupied with the physical side of sex; the fiend and perv within the marriage? It is difficult to establish dialogs if you think your feelings are going to be met with rejection.

    Another side of the sex fiend/perv perception is that a partner may have been suppressing particular sexual desires for many years, or only recently developed a curiosity to explore and experiment. Someone may have seen something or read something somewhere that spurred an interest. It may even come down to feeling that I am not going to live forever and I no longer want to deny my desires. I want to experience them so I can decide to adopt or reject them and remove the pent up sexual frustration that comes with denial. Someone wants to be spanked, tied up, use role play, head for the woods, practice private nudity, pursue erotic massage, practice submission just chase down multiple orgasms. Partners need to openly and calmly listen to each other when this conversation comes up, especially with long-repressed desire. These can be the source of much internal stress and frustration that creates an undercurrent of friction in a marriage. I am constantly reading blogs where a partner has long been harboring deep rooted sexual desires they have been reluctant to bring into the open, especially issues of D/s within a marriage. It appears as if many women are looking for this in the bedroom since feminism has all but forced male authority and dominance out of every other aspect of the public face of male/female relationships: “We have a 50/50 marriage.” As Dr. Phil would ask, “How’s that working for you?” I don’t mean women want to be bullied of not have their opinions or feelings considered by men, only that they want to feel protected and provided for by the man, even if he is not the primary breadwinner. A woman wants the man to assume a position of dominance to the extent she feels secure, desired, needed and appreciated by him. The bedroom is now about the only place that can be done without the rest of society interfering with the marriage dynamic. The wife needs to feel comfortable and safe in asking for this dominance and the husband has to step up and provide it if that is what she wants. She may want to be held in place during sex, but if she lets that be know, she had better be prepared to hear he wants to tie her to the bed posts and not judge him for being a perv. It’s only kinky when it’s not your idea usually. If you both want and enjoy it, it then becomes simply variety and experimentation. Be open with the HDS partner and listen with empathy, not judgment and condemnation.

    • Wow, that is lot to talk about and think about and I don’t think I have the time to address it as it should be addressed. I hope to at a future time. BTW – Yes, you do need to get your blog going, it would be good to have you writing more than just replies on other blogs, you have good things to say.

      Without addressing the particulars of your post, which again are very interesting, I think at the heart of it comes down to a few things: Marriages must have good, honest, and continuous communication. It must be open and non-judgmental. Spouses need to be loving and giving to each other. At the heart of it still is the issue of one partner’s need to be willing to do what they can to help their partner to feel loved. People do change through-out a marriage. Marriage is a 100/100 proposition. Compromise is also an important word in marriage.

      • @ Susan- I have been on the other side on a blog new to me too. I just couldn’t seem to say things in a way that clicked with everyone else, and worse, was misunderstood in a way that was almost opposite of my intent. I would agree though that many of the commenters on this blog ascribe to certain attitudes that may not align with some of yours. It is your choice whether to continue to visit in a spirit of debate or find a blog where others more broadly agree with your views. I finally worked out the kinks at my “problem” blog and am now better understood, even when we disagree.

        @RHW-It looks like neither of us had to do too much talking on this post. The women seemed to chop the wood and carry the water this time around. I have only seen Amy comment on this post below, but I think you need to go take a look. It addresses why women need to fully commit to their sexuality when having sex with their husbands. And no, it’s not only about being sexually aggressive or initiating. Because of the nature of the topic, Chris was more open to male comments than usual. Take a look.
        http://forgivenwife.com/2013/11/03/my-hearts-desire/comment-page-1/#comment-2073

  8. Pingback: Is sex important to a marriage? | LDS Gals learning to embrace sexuality

  9. Excellent post! I could not have said this better! So I won’t and will just direct people here instead. 🙂

    Only 12 minutes of our time this morning and both Hubby and I left for work with a smile and a knowledge that we are both loved and cherished! Such little investment for a huge return!! So please – keep talking about this subject – it IS a very important one!!!

  10. No, it is not always just the husband being turned down, as you pointed out. That is certainly not the case in my marriage.

    Yes, sex is very important to a marriage. Without it we are missing a huge connection that can only be between a husband and wife. I definitely notice a difference between my husband and I when we are not able to have regular sexual intimacy. There seems to be a disconnect between us, a lack of connection, and I’m certainly grumpy since I’m the HDS! 😉

    And yes, I can relate to the higher drive spouse hiding their true feelings about sex, for fear of being seen as only caring about having sex. I often feel bad bringing up the fact that I really need to connect with him sexually, especially when I know he is so exhausted from long, horrible work hours which get him up at 1am and in bed by 6pm. 😦

    I feel my marriage is unique in a way since we seem to fall outside of the two most common themes discussed regarding sex within marriage: either 1) the husband is the HDS and rejected often or 2) the wife is the HDS and rejected often.

    My husband is what I consider the LDS and has never been rejected by me, I have never once said no to him. I, the wife, am the HDS and although he does reject me because of lack of desire or interest in me sexually, he pretty much always says no when I initiate due to his exhaustion. And I would say, that it’s just the normal course of things where the sexual intimacy is controlled by the LDS. It’s when and how often they want it and again in my case, it has nothing to do with lack of desire.

    Unfortunately, I have not figured out how to deal with this. I often FEEL like he does not desire me when he turns me down and yet I KNOW he loves me dearly and desires me greatly. So I do often hide my true feelings for fear, as you said, of sounding like all that matters to me is sex.
    He is wonderful in listening to me though when I’ve talked, but reality is we cannot make it happen when he just isn’t home or so exhausted when he is that it is the last thing he wants to do.

    So, I continue to try and figure out how to be content with what our sex life looks like and try to remember that it may be only a season and that keeping the communication open is vital to not letting resentment or bitterness set in.

    • I should have proofed this better before submitting. 😉
      Should have read: “…although he does reject me, BUT NOT because of lack of desire…”

    • Amy, thank you for the nice comment & don’t worry about the typos, this is life, not writing class.

      Your situation is a little different, yet the results are at very similar, if not the same. In truth, the HDS always suffers because they are missing out on something important to them when the LDS says, “No.” It might hurt less because exhaustion is at least understandable reason, unlike playing on the internet all night or talking all night with friends. I wrote last week about the importance of using your time wisely, the link is here https://rockhisworld.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/making-the-most-of-the-time-you-have/ It might give you some ideas to talk about with your husband. I understand a little of what he is going through, I worked two jobs for almost two years, I was averaging about 1 day off a month – I know my sex drive went down during that time. For me, I feel the most rejected and hurt when we do have time to make love, yet my wife wastes it on something less important than us. I get it when it is important like paying bills and I don’t feel too hurt by that. What hurts is when I get put off by a TV show or the 10:00pm news, we have a DVR, record it and watch it later.

      I am telling you of this for a reason (even if I almost got lost, sorry about that, it has been one of those off periods right now) – I would suggest that the talk with your husband go something like this: “Baby, I know many days you are to exhausted for sex, but I would feel better if on the days that you are off, you took sometime for me. Besides, if we make love, it will help you relax and sleep better.” If I am continue with an additional suggestion, when he responds to that, do what you can to make it the type of sex that he loves, remind him how good it can be. Worry about his needs for a while and then when he starts to get used to the idea, move him more in any directions that you need him to move. (If you need a little more help there, e-mail me, but I am guessing you understand already.)

      BTW – I spent a little time on your blog this morning, I enjoyed it. I will have to drop in there from time to time. I found it refreshing. I tried to get a job in Oregon a couple of times. I would love to live close to Eugene, Track Town USA, I am in the South West, I like it here also. Maybe someday, I will get to live up there.

      • I saw that you stopped by my blog. Glad you enjoyed it. I don’t put the time into it like I would want to, but unfortunately, I let my days get away from me. I just need to make the time since I do enjoy writing. 🙂

        One thing you said, kind of hit the nail on the head for me. Even though my hubby is so tired during the week days (he has the weekend off, except for now it’s hunting season, so he’s gone on Saturdays too :(), I do often feel that instead of making the time for us sexually, he will sit for an hour and watch tv and then it’s too late because he has to be in bed to get enough sleep. And that is often where the hurt comes in for me.
        I know a few weeks ago we had an incident where both of my boys were out of the house (my two boys from my first marriage live with us) and I suggested we take advantage by putting my hubby to bed a little early and me slipping in with him. 😉 He liked the idea and we planned for it, or at least I thought we had. But after dinner he just kept watching a tv show until finally it was too late and he had to be in bed and get his sleep. I was so hurt and frustrated. I had gotten myself all worked up if you will and then felt like he just ignored it. Needless to say I cried my eyes out that night and told him the next day how much he had hurt me by just ignoring the situation. If he had just said, “honey, I really want to make love with you, but am suddenly so tired. Can we plan for tomorrow night?” I may have still feel let down, but it would not have felt like such a rejection, kwim?
        So, yes, that is a big issue with me. I feel there are times where we could make it happen, but he just doesn’t make the effort.

        As far as him spending his days off with me, he does, except like I said, right now during hunting season he likes to go out on Saturdays. I don’t have a problem with it because I know he loves to hunt and with how much he works, he deserves that time. But since our time together has been so limited lately, I guess it does bug me a little! LOL
        And maybe it’s selfish on my part, but honestly, having very little time together, I don’t want to just give to him. It’s hard enough for me to achieve an O, so to give that up for possibly a week or more, well, I would rather not. And he has told me that for him, the best foreplay he could ask for is helping me get there. 😉

        We deal with the age factor too. He is 58 and I’m 48. For him, every three days is best, because physically it is difficult for him to be ready too soon in between. But I will say, he makes the effort on the weekends for us to be together twice, not that it always happens, but he does try.

        We have talked about it or rather I have cried to him about my feelings over the low frequency, and he has listened and taken it to heart.
        I know he loves me very much and I know without a doubt that he greatly enjoys our time together sexually.
        And I don’t want to beat a dead horse to death! I mean how often do I bring it up since I’ve already said it to him many times before. I even sent him an email for him to get on Monday morning before he left for the week and basically told him how sad I was that he was leaving and that we didn’t get much time for making love beforehand. I told him how much I desire him and how I have a difficult time initiating and letting him know I want him, because honestly, it hurts to be turned down every time. He never really brought the email up to me, although he responded that morning by telling me how much he would miss me too. But I felt better just putting it out there and hopefully when he’s back tomorrow we can discuss it more.

        Sorry for the long response…I can never write anything very short! LOL

      • Don’t worry about the long response, I understand, it is an emotional and difficult subject for people. I think it is more emotional for the HDS, but maybe not, I know a couple of LDS spouses that feel a lot of emotional responses about the issue also. Besides, I can’t speak in sound bites either.

        I always hesitate to give advice long distance because you get even less information like this than you do talking with a person. I am glad that your hubs is worried about your pleasure and your O. That is good, I often hear about ladies who feel hubs does not care about their pleasure. (I think good hubbies get more excited about their wife’s O than their own.)

        I am in my 50’s I know a little about the slowing down of things, but I also know that eating well and exercise (I know how hard this is working so much) will help keep the sex drive alive. When I was real active in my late 40s, I had a higher libido than I had in my late 30s when I was not taking care of myself!

        Hunting, I can see, although I know it still hurts you. TV, hey, DVR what he thinks he needs to see and he can watch it the next day and skip the commercials onto of it.

        Taking a guess her, but I suspect that even sex without an O is better than no sex at all. I know a few ladies have told me that. If that is true, you might want to pass that on to your hubs. I think it may take pressure off of him. If he knew that a 15 minute quickly once a week would help you and then you could have a longie, another time during the week to make sure you get what you need, it might help. IDK,everyone is different, just trying to help.

        I know, make him a sledge hammer – I got this a couple of times at my coffee shop when I was under super stressful times and going on no sleep. A sledge hammer was 4 shots of espresso – I added hot water make it an Americana, & some half & half to cut the acid, but it kept me awake for 10 hours. Maybe it would help hubs.

      • Yes, my hubby is very attentive to me in and out of the bedroom. We have a very good relationship.

        We have a DVR and use it regularly, but there are nights where he just continues watching a show, even something recorded earlier, when I feel like we could be taking advantage of an empty house. But I usually don’t pursue it because of fear of being turned down. It makes me feel undesirable and kind of stupid for asking. And the thing is, he is always nice about it, not an overt “NO”, he just smiles and gives me a quick kiss and then goes back to the show.

        I don’t get upset or hurt about him hunting. It’s something he loves and has done his whole life, I guess I’m just acting immature and want to be put ahead of that especially when he’s been gone all week, kwim? LOL

        Re: sex w/o an orgasm, well, that’s one I struggle with. The reason? I think it’s because our time together is so limited and although I’ve always told my hubby that I’m his sure thing, I don’t ever know for sure when it will happen. So, I admit that I do chase that O wondering when the next time for me will be. And sometimes, when it only happens for hubby, I feel resentment because I’m the one who wants sex more and an O is harder for me and not always guaranteed. Not sure that is clear where I’m coming from.
        I feel selfish thinking that way and I often think that part of the reason he maybe isn’t as interested is because it takes longer for me and he does feel it’s more work. I have every so often stopped the foreplay for me when I know I’m taking too long, so that he can finish w/o waiting on me or doing all the work. Although, one time I said something about taking too long and he said to me that I take just the right amount of time.

        This has been a good discussion.

      • Each couple has their own complexities. I wish there was an easy answer for you. The only solution I know is prayer, I am sure you have already been doing that. I hope your hubbies work situation will get better soon, that should help. I can understand about a little of what you are saying about your O, I think it is hard for a guy really understand what you ladies go through, since it is pretty easy for most guys to O, in many cases way to easy. I am sure I would worry a lot more about them if I never knew when I would have one. BTW – if you have not read it yet, check out The Forgiven Wife’s post on fireworks, there may be a few insights there.

        I too have enjoyed the discussion, I wish I could help more. Hang in there though, the good news is he is willing, just tired.

  11. It’s not just men (and not just about sex either) that stop asking. Most people will give up after they’ve been told ‘no’ enough times. Selfishness leads us to focus on our relief of not being hassled anymore rather than the reason our spouse has stopped.

    • Right you are Robyn! Sometimes writing in a gender neutral way makes my head explode, so I tend to revert to a man’s point of view – sorry. (We need a couple of good words that are singular and gender neutral – their is plural so I try not to use it.) I know a couple of ladies who have confessed to me that they are the HSD spouse and that they are hurt by their hubby’s rejection.

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