Take a good look at your love life. Is the spark between the sheets gone? Has your husband or wife lost his or her mojo? Did your sex life take a vacation and not return?
According to new research published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, women in a committed relationship report lower levels of sexual desire over time while a man’s desire stays pretty much the same. Not what the guys wanted to hear.
So, guys, relax. You are not at 100% at fault for her declining sexual desire. If your lady had a lower sex drive before you got hitched in the first place, there are several factors — biological, psychological and social, that I won’t get into here. And also consider that the sexual energy and excitement from those lustful first couple years of married life will decline as the deeper emotional bond, I hope, that you have developed with the love of your life over time has increased.
Yet, I have to get honest with the men. Listen guys, in my experience as both a twice-married guy, and my many years observing husbands as a life coach, I’ve learned a few things about women. And that is, you may be contributing to this problem, and it may be a big blind spot for you.
There are five things you may be doing under your roof and under the sheets that could totally turn her off. You know it, and I know it: You turn her off, and you can say buh-bye to your #1 love language.
1. Blowing Off Her Looks
Counselors, sex therapists, and relationship coaches all agree that married men often tend to stop noticing when their spouses looks pretty, and so much of a wife’s sexual desire is rooted to a sense of self-esteem — feeling valued by her husband. Looks is so much a part of it.
Wan to fix this? Then give her daily compliments, tell her she’s pretty, let her know you like how she looks in that new pair of jeans, or the shape of her calves when she steps into the high-heel shoes you just bought at Nordstroms. Compliment her new haircut. If she’s being proactive about losing weight, let her know you’ve noticed the difference. Cheer her on! Be her biggest supporter for every pound she loses. And compliment her often. Leave her love notes in the bathroom mirror, on the steering wheel of her car, on her pillow. Make her feel sexy. And mean it.
2. Making Her Wrong
Flashback to the early days of your marriage. It took a while for many of you to get comfortable with the sacred practice of love-making, figuring out body and position dynamics, and releasing unhealthy expectations that came from your previous relationships.
Some sexual acts worked, others clearly didn’t. Over time, you’ve probably felt rejected because she didn’t respond the way you wanted her to respond. You may have given up trying to explore what worked and didn’t work, frustrated that your programmed approach to sex – foreplay, intercourse, climax, wasn’t flying. And that it was somehow her fault.
All the while, the pressure to make it right kept growing, tension built, things got awkward, communication eventually stopped, and you made an agreement in your head to believe that this is just the way it is. Accept it.
This is not the way it is. If you want to find your way back to the sexual intimacy of the first few years of your marriage, you need to take the lead in the dance, friend. Initiate conversation. Talk to her about what’s not working for her, and ask her how you can make it better on YOUR end. Own up to this as a 50/50 problem, and do everything you can to get the perspective you need to understand what’s going on from her side of the bed. You’ll find that the Dreaded Duo — guilt and shame, may be at work wreaking havoc on her self-worth. Rescue your wife from feeling bad about your sex life by stepping up and working together to bring this sacred act back to God’s original plan.
3. Forgetting Foreplay
Men tend to put so much emphasis on the moments leading up to intercourse, but female desire doesn’t work like a light switch that flips on and off—it’s more like a dimmer. The greatest advice I can give you to have a rockin’ sex life is to practice small acts of physical affection — hugging, kissing, rubbing, massaging, nibbling, etc. that can get her in the mood. But don’t get antsy, and stop pouncing immediately on her girl parts like a dog to a treat, man! There are other areas of a woman’s body that are erogenous. Explore that prospect by asking her what she would like, and where she would like to be touched. Lastly, get this in your noggin’: don’t expect her to be immediately turned on. Be patient, and refer to #2.
4. Pressuring Her During the Act
So many men worry about whether their partners are going to have an orgasm that they end up causing too much pressure on them, and what they worry about then happens–their women don’t have an orgasm! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Get the intercourse part of your love-making out of your head, stay relaxed and focus on the playful parts of #2 — touching, kissing, holding and sensuality.
Release the pressure to perform. Just let things happen naturally without forcing it. Good sex is about connecting in bed, which starts well before the physical, and not how many orgasms can I give her, or get myself?
On the flip side, here’s a nice tip for you guys suffering from performance anxiety: Your wife will appreciate it if you stay calm, relax without worrying, and ask her to help you relax and initiate foreplay on you. Your little friend will salute at attention in no time!
5. Bringing Pornography into the Bedroom
Viewing porn to learn that cool new position you’ve dreamed about (one excuse I heard recently) is a lie, and nothing but selling out to fantasy with other women. This is the path to defiling the marriage bed, and choosing lust over sexual intimacy with your wife.
And if you’re trying to justify that using porn is good to stimulate yourself so you can perform better, watching it will only desensitize your brain. You will find sex with your spouse less arousing the more you watch because it’s fantasy. Using pornography puts your wife in a place she should never find herself in: competing with professional sex actresses for your sexual pleasure. What she’ll eventually realize is that she can’t measure up. It’s like asking you to constantly compete with other hot, studly, family men for your wife’s approval — other men your wife has made into a fantasy herself to be the perfect husband and provider. How do you like them apples?
But don’t take my word for it. Consider a joint study conducted by the University of Indiana and University of Houston. This study found that,
“Repeated exposure to pornography results in a decreased satisfaction with one’s sexual partner, with the partner’s sexuality, and with the partner’s sexual curiosity. There was a decrease in the valuation of faithfulness and a major increase in the importance of sex without attachment.” [read more]
The study goes on to say that “six hours of exposure to softcore pornography is enough to destroy the viewer’s satisfaction with his or her spouse.” Six hours!
So lets say she said “yes” to your little experiment. Have you considered that deep down she might be doing it against her will? And ladies, if you say “yes” when deep down you mean “no”, you’re doing three things that are damaging to yourself and your marriage:
1. You are not being emotionally honest with yourself and your husband.
2. You are losing yourself in him, thus losing your own identity as a valued woman created by God for sacred sexual pleasure with a man 100% devoted to you, and you only.
3. You’re re-enforcing the path to a sex addiction in both of you.
I know of one married woman that falsely bought into the lustful requests of her husband that they view porn together. She complied but was never 100% comfortable. He now cheats on her consistently to get the “high” he feels from porn, and his addictive behavior has escalated to engaging in sex with prostitutes. His need for extreme stimulation with his wife started with soft pornography, and led him down a destructive path, as indicated by the research study.
So please get back in bed with the one you love, connect to her heart, and learn about her emotional and physical needs. Listen, when you find ways to authentically communicate your deepest sexual desires, and then practice what both of you want in a way that honors the marriage bed, you will never, ever need porn.
To your relationship success,