In a previous post I gave one possible explanation for why some married couples don’t have much of a sex life. Sexless marriage is a very common problem in millions of marriages today. As I’ve stated before, a sexless marriage is one where a couple engages in little to no sexual activity–anything less than ten times per year is considered to be sexless. There can be many reasons that contribute to this phenomenon—anything from health issues, kids and busy schedules, to pornography use, masturbation, issues due to past sexual abuse and serious problems or difficulties in the relationship. But there is one very simple misunderstanding in regard to sex I would like to address, and I truly think it can make a big difference for a lot of couples. Many, many people mistakenly think that you can only have sex if it is preceded by great desire and/or a huge emotional connection. But I say that neither is required every time to have a great sex life with your spouse.
Let’s deal with the desire issue first. The typical model says we first feel desire, then arousal, followed by the actual event of sex (intercourse)—but as I say in my Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage book and seminar, this is not true for millions of people! Many people don’t feel that great desire first and often don’t want to do it until they are actually doing it—then they are glad they did! Unfortunately, the misinformation that we have been given by so-called experts and the media in our culture has led most people to believe that both the man and woman always feel all this hot and heavy desire before they can have sex.
After all, that’s what TV, movies and novels portray—especially for women who are typically shown as provocative, chase-the-man-down vixens and then men (especially those into porn) wrongly expect their wives to be like that. On the other hand, many women who don’t have this overt, “clamoring-to-jump-in-the-sack” drive worry and think that there is something wrong with them, when it’s just not true. Most women have no problem having sex and are great lovers once they get started, even if they don’t act like the sex kitten, porn queen or “desperate housewife” that the media around us depicts.
What I hear consistently from couples is actually the flip side—it’s the men who have lower desire, lower sex drives and the wives are the ones who want to have more sex. Sometimes it is a physical issue or a problem with porn and masturbation, but not always. Some men are just wired to be low-key in the desire department. It can really mess with a dude’s head when he thinks there is something wrong with him because he’s not the red-hot Fabio or Don Juan type who is walking around in a state of perpetual readiness. Again, guys, if you don’t feel this rush of desire to begin with and your engines aren’t all revved and ready to blast off, don’t take that as a sign to mean that you shouldn’t have sex with your wife. More often than not, once you get on with it and you begin to engage your wife physically and you touch and connect with one another, those feelings of desire and arousal will come alive too.
People get so hung up on this desire thing. They feel awful if they themselves aren’t fueled by all this gigantic heat and passion, or they end up getting upset at their spouse and in turn make him or her feel horrible because, “You don’t desire me or pursue me! You never initiate!” Here is a word to you higher-desire people: Don’t pressure or demand a show of intense desire from your lower-desire spouse. When you criticize your husband or wife and expect them to be all hot and heavy and the initiator, it ends up making them feel horrible.
Seriously, we have to stop with all this nonsense. It’s just plain foolish and counter productive. Everyone wants to be wanted, I get it. It would be really great to feel like your husband or wife was dying with desire for you, but not everything is about what we want. There are lots of things that we want in life, but they just don’t always happen that way. I want to get paid and not have to work. I want to never have to pay taxes. I want to never have to clean the house or deal with dirty dishes or laundry. Who cares what you want!?
To have a successful life and marriage, you don’t live by what you want or feel. So don’t sit there never having sex, feeling bad about yourself or mad at your spouse because of what you wish they were like or what you wish you felt. In the words of Nike: Just do it! Try it! You’ll see, it will great and I bet you’ll both enjoy yourselves! And remember…it truly doesn’t matter who starts it or what your desire level is.