Sometimes Sex is Just Sex

Many married people are not having an active sex life for no other reason than they “don’t feel like it”—meaning they think they have to feel this great desire and/or a huge emotional connection at the front end or sex isn’t going to happen. In my last post I addressed the desire aspect of this flawed thinking. Now, I’ll dispel the myth regarding the requirement of a huge emotional connection.

Women, more often than men, get hung up on this one and think they have to have all these warm and fuzzy emotions to feel like they can get physical with their husbands. I’m not saying that you always have sex with no emotion or connection–that would not be a healthy relationship. But what I am saying is that sometimes sex can just be sex. The joining together of a husband and wife to get close to each other, relieve stress, enjoy the release and just have a good time enjoying one another–no romance novel level of desire or surge of emotions required! Again, much of this comes from the media—with chick flicks being a huge culprit.

There are a couple of things that you must understand about Hollywood sex… first, it is not real; they are actors and they are being paid to act! Second, and probably most important, a very high percentage of the time (probably like 98%) movie and TV sex is not in the context of marriage—it is either extramarital because it is an affair, or it is premarital sex. In both cases the emotions and desire typically run very high and strong. I hate to break the bad news to you, but what Hollywood shows us is not real, everyday married sex. After you’ve been together for a bunch of years, not every time is going to be the “ground shaking, heaven bending down to kiss the earth, lights exploding from the sky and angels singing the hallelujah chorus” encounter! Yet that is exactly what so many people foolishly expect and require.

When we are talking about the emotional component of sex there are a couple of different situations to consider here—first time married sex and sex outside of marriage. First, when you experience sex in the early stage of marriage, you are typically filled with high levels of desire and emotional connection—that’s just the way it is. The buzz and rush are there because of the newness and excitement, and it should be that way. All that desire and emotion go a long way in bonding a brand new husband and wife together. The thing to know and remember is that it just doesn’t stay that way, and when you set that as your standard, you are in trouble. After awhile the honeymoon does wear off and you eventually grow into a stage where it is more of the safe, comfortable married sex that is still very enjoyable, fun and pleasurable. It just isn’t going to be the Fourth of July experience with fireworks and bombs bursting in air every single time.

But for people who experience premarital sex (which so many people do, though they should be waiting until marriage) or extramarital sex through affairs, it can become a real problem because the desire/emotion component is especially strong and potent due to the forbidden and naughty nature of that type of sexual encounter. Often men and women go from relationship to relationship, and move from one highly charged sexual tryst to the next. People actually condition themselves to the euphoria and the high level of desire and emotion if all of their sexual experiences are this context. Therefore, when they get married and the initial high and excitement is no longer there, they don’t want to have sex, think it’s boring or they go looking for that buzz elsewhere in an illicit relationship or pornography. It is another important reason why sex outside of marriage is such a bad idea.

Whether or not you start your marriage as virgins or have had sexual experiences outside of marriage, when you think the emotional rush that you feel in a new sexual relationship is the norm and then combine that with the nonsense of the media telling us what sex is “supposed” to be like, it’s a recipe for disappointment and difficulty. In a long-term, committed, marriage sometimes one or both of you will experience all those great feelings when you engage in sex, but it’s certainly not every time. If you become reliant and dependent on that desire/emotion cocktail, and if one or both ingredients are not there consistently, you’ll end up believing there is something wrong with you, your spouse or your love life.

The truth of the matter is there is nothing wrong. As I said, sometimes sex is just sex; it’s what you do when you are married. Just like cleaning the toilet is what you do to keep your house clean…and I bet you don’t have this great desire or huge emotional connection to scrubbing the porcelain! You do it because it needs to be done and that’s the way it is with married sex… it does need to be done! It’s the glue that God gave us to bond us to one another. The bible is very clear that it is your responsibility as a spouse.

Understand that there is no need for all this desire and emotion nonsense. Don’t feel badly if you aren’t overwhelmed by all the over-the-moon feelings and passion ahead of time. There is nothing wrong with you. If you can enjoy sex once you start and have a good time, that’s all that matters. Just break the mindset that you won’t do it unless you feel like it. Let not your hearts be troubled. Just enjoy the deal without all the fuss and worry over the desire and emotion. It’s actually a trap, that if you aren’t careful, you can get caught in and you, your spouse and your relationship will suffer.

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62 Responses to “Sometimes Sex is Just Sex”

  1. Natalie says:

    I surly wish I knew this before I was divorced mainly because of sexual disfunction. I was married nearly 30 years and my lack of sex drive (mainly due to sexual abuse background) really took its course. My husband was very unaffectionate and would never listen to me. The only connection we made was sexual. Well, for a long time sex with no love (so I thought) felt no different than an abuser to me in my victim state of mind. He finally left me for someone else. If I had known I didn’t need to FEEL something, it would’ve made ALL the difference in the world.

    Yes, we got past all that but the husband NEVER forgave me for the acts of my unhealed self.

    Partly, thanks to your teaching (along with my life experience) I will have the best new marriage, and fulfilled husband ever. I am not the same, I’ve been healed (for years now) and have grown tremendously!


  2. anne says:

    Your teaching are easy to understand and while the approach, at times, can be over the top. The foundational information is accurate. The sensationalization of sex, relationships, and marriage as portrayed in the visional and audio media do plant seeds of “expectations” and when those expectations, while unrealistic, are not achieved there seems to be a search to find that which we have been lead to believe is true. Hence, we spend much of our lives trying to reach that “pot of gold”.

  3. Sam says:

    This is a very important and true article, when we were first marriage every sexual encounter was like a explosion, but as the years have gone by we found ourselves getting bored. That change one night when we decide just have sex. We both had a stressful day at work and to relieve the tension, we just went and did it. It changed our marriage because it made the other nights of romance better.

  4. Rachel says:

    I want to thank you for talking about this subject which most Christians try to avoid. It seems to be “taboo” to talk about sex in the marriage. However the Bible does talk abot it and under the guidance of the Spirit there are times when we should. This has actually been very helpful to me and answerd some long awaited questions, and concerns that I have had.
    Before I was saved, I had a lifestyle-the kind hollywood makes movies about. Sex was not an act between husband and wife in my opinion, it was just whomever my companion was at the time, a married man, a one night stand, or a ongoing relationship. I never understood what destruction I was causing in my life until I found Christ. Many years later, (married to the same man since I found Christ, and having been with no other) I have found myself looking for that “emotion”. While led by the Spirit to the verse in the Bible about marriage and sex, I was aware that I was to submit this area to my spouse, I didn’t understand why God would ask me to do something I didn’t “feel” like doing. I now have a bette understanding in this area of my life and I believe it applies to other areas as well. While I may not “feel” like cleaning my house it is nescesary, I may be tired, sleepy, and don’t “feel” like reading my Bible or praying, but it is esential to a Spirit led life. I always knew that how I “felt” should not interfear with these areas of my life but never would have thought to apply this to the intamate part of my marriage. Thank you for talking about this subject.

  5. Kathryn Troll says:

    Thank you for the ‘sex is just sex’, it is an eye opener for me!!! That is exactly the way I feel. I though there was something wrong with me! Now I know there’s not. THANK YOU

  6. Married 24 yrs says:

    Mark’s explanation of the “emotional high” is a good one, but there’s a very real connection that women need to be able to submit to sex with their husbands or it can leave them feeling like something very real is missing. Women need to feel safe, protected, loved, cherished, nourished, and it greatly helps if they are wooed by their husbands to “anticipate” the act of sex. Women don’t naturally jump into bed and want to have sex immediately like most men-they have different natures. If husbands can help their wives to feel protected, loved, cherished and nourished, then more wives might be attracted to their men and desire sex more.

    • Katie Matsumoto says:

      Amen! Sure it doesn’t have to be like rockets going off every time. But feeling special and wanting to be together – for the fun of it – is very good. Closeness is a great reason to make love with your spouse and that doesn’t include fireworks!

      So, go have fun sex with your spouse and leave the sky bursting for 4th of July.

    • Kim says:

      BUT… back to what Mark said sometimes sex needs to be just sex. It doesn’t have to have desire attached all the time. On the other hand if there is never a desire due to feeling unsafe, unloved etc. then you have other issues to deal with.

  7. Nurse Diesel says:

    In our marriage, we have a rule. There is no such thing as “I don’t feel like it”. There is a short list of excuses which are valid, but not “I don’t feel like it”.
    I was just discussing this issue with my daughter (21, unmarried, idealistic). She was saying that she was told in a part of this seminar that men do relational things to get sex. I tried to tell her that she was missing the point, that this IS how men relate, and that it was okay. But I had a hard time getting through (21, idealistic). Men relate through sex, which is frequently viewed as less valid that a woman’s way, but in reality, it’s perfectly valid. If it’s important to him, it should be important to me. After all, I want my issues to be important to him, so it’s fair.
    Besides, sex is fun – why not have some playtime?

    • Rachel says:

      I like that and think I will have to use that for myself. My husband and I have been married 6 years. We have a wonderful relationship based around Biblical principles. We have some standing rules like never go to bed arguing and mad. (no one ever sleeps on the sofa) based on the verse “let not the sun go down on your anger.” I like the “I don’t feel like it” rule. (this will be harder for me than my husband) I find myself saying it a lot. Even when he says he doesn’t feel like it, he always says-yes for you even though I don’t feel like it.

      • Brian says:

        Hi there, my 2 cents going on 30 years this year has always been that God is the number one relationship in our marriage, and number two is my wife. If you keep each other ahead of yourself, than you both come out ahead!!! Now ours is a very special love, one no one else shares(ha, ha, ha) but it works. And it works in sex also. E is not a very sexual person, but she knows my needs, and just seems to know when I just need alittle love’n. And the same is true on my side. I just know when all she wants is some good hugging and alittle attention to her cheek.

    • Susan says:

      I really liked what you said, Nurse Diesel, especially the last few lines. So much so that I believe they bear repeating.

      “Men relate through sex, which is frequently viewed as less valid than a woman’s way, but in reality, it’s perfectly valid. If it’s important to him, it should be important to me. After all, I want my issues to be important to him, so it’s fair.
      Besides, sex is fun – why not have some playtime?”

      As a Life Coach, I see couples who misunderstand what sex in marriage is. Sex is God’s gift to a married couple and should be respected as such. It is an expression of giving ones total self to another human being whom you have committed your whole life to for better or worse. In committed marriage we consent through our vows to no longer be the sole owner of our bodies(1Corinthians: 7: 4-6). We also become most vulnerable to one another during the sex act, and I believe that is why I am seeing so many of these posts relate to needing to feel safe and secure before being able to have sex.

      Mark Gungor made an important point in that our minds can get messed up by Hollywood’s version of sexuality and we find ourselves thinking something is wrong with us if we don’t match up to their standards. As Christians we need to know better to be able to educate ourselves and the next generation, and for that matter, to combat the accepted culture. WE are to be the light of the world, not Hollywood!

      As Kevin Leman said in his book, Sex Begins in the Kitchen, love making should not stop because you leave the bedroom! If more couples practiced this, I believe there would be fewer problems with sex in marriage.

  8. Becky says:

    Great stuff. I would add also that it is important as Christian wives to make sure if we are feeling shorted on intimacy and “feelings” that we are connecting with Christ in worship. I find in almost every client that expresses a disconnect in intimacy with their husband (especially in sexual abuse cases previous to marriage) that spending time worshipping God, using an artist that touches their hearts, brings tremendous breakthrough to them. It also stops the cycle of looking for affirmation from men when our hearts and hungry and hurting:)

    • Married 24 yrs says:

      Hi Becky, just like men can’t receive sex from God, women cannot receive connection to their husbands from God. It’s true that women can connect with God by worshipping and seeking God, but that’s different than connecting with your husband. We were made to balance & compliment each other, and women compliment men through sex and men should compliment women by relating to them through communication and touch in a way that women need. If men never needed to do anything different in their sexual approach with a woman who was sexually abused then she would have a very difficult time healing from the abuse. Yes, I believe God can heal and she needs her man’s understanding and reassurance that she is safe with him. It concerns me that if you feel women only need to worship God and they will feel safe and loved by their men that they could marry any loser who abuses her and it will be ok because she close to God. Receiving affirmation from our husbands is another way that men compliment women, in the same way that women express their honor and respect for women.

      • Married 24 yrs says:

        Oops, in that last sentence I meant to say that “Receiving affirmation from our husbands is another way that men compliment women, in the same way that women express their honor and respect for men.”

  9. Vernie says:

    Can I ask you think about this from a different perspective for just a moment? Love is – putting the other persons needs before your own. The world we live in is not perfect and therefore there are certain individuals out there who tend to take advantage of this type of thinking. Which then turns out in a domineering, selfish relationship. However, in a mutually trusting, caring and loving relationship this works really well. If each person is only contributing to the relationship when they actually “feel like it” then there wouldn’t be too many opportunities when both parties “feel like it” together. This goes for spending time together, talking, working through stressful situations and sex. So for a practical example if I come home from a hard day at work and don’t feel like communicating and my husband comes home and feels like talking his day through. I would imagine that would lead to a very uncomfortable, stressful situation for all because basically I’m being selfish because I don’t feel like it so therefore it’s not going to happen. Love is being able to give to the other with their best interest in mind. They in turn and giving to me with my best interest in mind. I can see how things go terribly wrong when one person gives unselfishly and the other person sits back and takes and takes. But this is not how it is supposed to be. When we are only interested in how we think and feel….that’s not love.

    • Married 24 yrs says:

      Hey Vernie, I like your concept of love as you say, “Love is – putting the other persons needs before your own.” In the context of this thread which is about sex, I wonder how that works if you are asking for something that you want-sex; after all you are thinking of yourself-not your wife. In this example, how are you putting her needs first?

      • Maegan says:

        I think that what she means is that men and women are wired differently (men are more physical and women are emotional). It’s not always about sex. In a loving relationship you should try to meet the needs of the other person, and not because you have to but because you love that person and you want them to be happy and fullfilled. So if having sex with my husband makes him happy, then why not? And if watching a chick flick snuggled up on the couch makes me happy, then that is what he does. Even when we aren’t really in the mood to do whatever it is at the time, we still do because he is my numer 1 and I am his. It’s not that I feel it is a chore to make him happy, but I do think as a wife it is my job, and I love it. If I’m not taking care of him, then who will?

      • Young doc says:

        First off, men are not the only ones who ask for sex. I can tell you from experience that there are times when my wife wants sex from me, without my intitiating or even thinking about sex.

        Secondly, I do not believe it is “selfish” to express your needs to your spouse. I believe it is the duty of a spouse to find and meet the needs of their mate. It is hard to meet those needs if you don’t know what they are. I believe selfishness arises when we demand that our needs be met before the needs of the other. So I would agree that if one spouse wanted sex and “would not be denied,” that would be selfish. But likewise, a partner who knew of his/her mate’s need and refused to oblige would also be selfish.

        I believe this is the heart of Mark’s argument. We are to serve one another. Just as no husband should force (physically or otherwise) his wife to meet his needs, no wife should threaten her husband to meet her’s (by witholding sex or other affection). Instead, the two should adopt a servant’s attitude, seeking to meet the needs of their spouse even if they may not feel like it (including sexual needs). In that regard, they are following the model of Christ (who was a servant to us all)!

  10. Susannah says:

    The reason there are no replies is that your question is quite puzzling. I’ve heard it said that a woman can have sex even if she is comatose; if you love your husband, how can it be that hard? Can you make him a sandwich when you don’t “feel like it”? Of course– you just do it. Maybe you can’t have an orgasm very well… but you can skip that part. We sometimes do. We’ll call it a “quickie” or just do whatever he is wanting at the time. It isn’t that hard and I generally do “feel more like it” as I go along, because loving behavior generates loving feelings.

  11. Maegan says:

    I can’t speak for everyone, but when I’m not in the mood and my husband wants to have sex (and he usually knows when I’m in the mood or not)he does the things he knows I like to get me there. I always go into knowing that I’m not in the mood now but I will be soon!

  12. Carrie says:

    (I forgot to finish)

    THAT’s the kind of Love Mark and everyone else is writing about. Not the kind of love you are describing that looks out for yourself first. That’s what our society tells us to do, because we know what we need for ourselves better than anyone else. But when you live that way, you leave very little room for trusting someone else in your life…

    This is complicated to discuss in theory. Because “in theory” you can completely divorce yourself from the actual topic. Only when you’re experiencing it in one way or another does it actually become more real.

  13. Steve says:

    Of course there is an emotional attachment to sex in the context of marrriage. You are married. There is your emotional attachment. If there is no emotional attachment in the marriage, you shouldn’t be married. To quote Ephesians:

    ” Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

    Both husbands and wives need to sacrifice and submit to each other. If that means I have to do something I may not feel like doing, I submit and do it for the greater good of the relationship. That also applies to my wife, and this situation applies to sex as much as it applies to a simple household chore. Otherwise, I am putting my selfish needs and desires ahead of my spouses and the relationship. Ephesians tells us not to do that.

    Remove yourself from this self-centered romantic fantasy that you live in and come to reality. There are sacrifices and submissions in every area of relationships, otherwise they wouldn’t work.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks for your reply Steve, in answer to your question: My husband never has sex with me when he does not want to. That is because my husband never NOT wants to have sex with me. And if that should ever happen I would show him unselfish love by leaving him alone.

      • Maegan says:

        My husband is the same way! I can come home from the gym all sweaty or just wake up (obviously not looking my best) and he will start feeling on me. Really? You want to have sex with me now? I look like crap! I used to find it annoying to be honest. But after watching two close friends go through divorce and being there when they would complain to me that their husband wasn’t giving them attention or that they wish that their husband would try to have sex with them. The lack of “attention” was making them feel like they weren’t attractive anymore I look at things a little differently now. In my opinion if your husband always wants to have sex with you, you should feel lucky and adored! I will choose overly attentive anyday!

  14. Steve says:

    How can we answer a question that is unique to your individual situation? You could potentially get millions of suggestions and none of them work for you. My suggestion? Practice it, and find a way that works for you.

  15. STEVE O says:

    My wife seems to have a lot of trouble getting in the mood, but once we get started she is almost always just fine. this does mot seem to help her wan to get into the mood the next time. i dont know what i can do to make this better

    • Katie oehler says:

      When was the last time you did something for that she loves or even do chore at home that she usually does, with out her asking you? These little things all add up. Go for a walk and hold hands. Exercise usually helps me to get in the mood. But find out what forplay excites her. Kiss her neck. We need to hear that we are beautiful even as we grow older.
      Good luck.

  16. young doc says:

    “a baby who isn’t feed or changed” should be “a baby who isn’t FED or changed”

    “It may be difficult to conceive in a world” should be ” It may be A difficult IDEA to conceive OF in a world”

    sorry for the mistakes! :)

  17. Lynet says:


    I imagine that repeatedly having sex when you don’t want to would make it seem more and more like toilet-cleaning, and pretending you enjoyed it, at the same time, would make it a lot worse than toilet-cleaning, since you’d be trying to be there for your husband even as you felt obligated to hide your feelings in a way that would make it impossible for him to be there for you. So I think you’re right that there’s an issue here.

    Notwithstanding the command to submit, I’m sure your husband cares about the emotional pain that pretending to enjoy something you increasingly come to dislike could put you through. So perhaps he might be willing to compromise. I’m not sure what you believe the teachings to be on masturbation, and forgive me if this sounds wrong to you, but if you can be there with your husband and be sexy for him while he masturbates, for example, then that might help to fulfill his needs without demanding as much from you. You’d still be there for this part of his sex life, and he and you would have the emotional connection, but your body could have a rest for that day. That might help you to feel better about it the next time you actually have sex.

    Sex is usually more fun when both people enjoy it, so if a compromise like this could help you enjoy sex more when you do have it, then it might turn out better for your husband anyway.

  18. anonforthis says:

    Ok, while I can’t help but be completely squicked by the toilet analogy, I get what you are saying, totally. Just want to put it out there that not every Christian marriage falls into that women = emotional/men = sexual bit of business. I’ve been hearing that since youth group abstinence discussions all the way through all the Christian sex books they give you when you get married and most of the preaching on sex. And I’m here to attest that *this* Christian wife needs sex to feel close to her husband. And I feel emotionally distant and struggle with resentment and other non-maritally-healthy feelings if it too much time goes by. And I have a husband for whom the emotional and affectionate (and, uh, sleep) needs are much stronger than the sexual ones. (I know, everybody gasp in shock!) Thing is, I have now had enough conversations with other women to know that my situation is not that unusual. It just seems that Christian couples are even less likely than secular ones to admit that their marriages don’t follow the script.
    So I get a little testy when I keep hearing the same ole “men are like this, women are like that dont’cha know, so just give it up for the sake of the marriage, women” type of counseling. If anything, it seems that it’s just pretty common to end up with differing drives, whichever spouse has them. I wonder a lot just how common it is for both spouses to be equally sexually satisfied in a marriage (obviously, things like sickness and babies happen, but overall).

  19. Joshua says:

    Speaking from my own personal experience, I wouldn’t *want* to have sex with my wife if she were not “in the mood.” A very important part of the joy in lovemaking is sharing and giving that pleasure– otherwise one may as well hump a blow up doll. To me, it would utterly spoil the moment anyway. When I want to make love with (not “to” but “with”) my girlfriend, I want her to enjoy it as well– anything less is just mere f***ing. Nothing is being communicated– it just comes down to nihilistic meat grinding. I confess I find it puzzling to see this sort of idea being proposed on a Christian blog.

    A few years ago, in the midst of making love, my partner simply fell out of the mood. I forget what it was specifically, but she had a stressful day and she had other things on her mind. She told me this, in a matter-of-factly way (and I could already sense this) and so I– and we– stopped. We simply cuddled and talked instead. And it was good to just cuddle. It was a very memorable day. She wasn’t being selfish– she was communicating with me where she was in her mind and her body.

    Now what would’ve been more selfish: (1) She says nothing, while I get my own purely physical gratification or (2) I stop, out of consideration for my partner’s well being. Why is it that being considerate of one’s feeling only seems to run one way? That attitude definitely leads to a loveless one-sided relationship.

    Sometimes our sexual desires sync up, sometimes they don’t. But it isn’t the end of the world– I am a big boy and I can handle it.

    I don’t just want to have my own sexual desires gratified, I want to travel there *with* my partner. Anything less than that is purely and utterly selfish– far more selfish than for my girlfriend to say she isn’t feeling aroused, or that she’s had a rough day or is stressed out. She is my best friend too, after all– how could I selfishly treat my best friend like that, just so that *I* can have some physical gratification? Communication between us is far more important and valued in our relationship. It is that communication that makes our relationship as a whole better, brings us closer together– and makes our lovemaking not only beautiful and pleasurable, but *meaningful*.

  20. Carol says:

    Interesting conversation and a lively read. Certainly made me think. But let me throw another scenario in here. Having sex even when you’re “not in the mood” has hit hard in my bedroom in the past year or so. I am in my early 50s and menopausal…..can anyone relate? Sex drive takes a nosedive despite the fact that I’m healthy, and still attractive (at least to my husband). I was in the habit of initiating sex for us regularly but now the thought won’t enter my brain or any other part of my anatomy voluntarily. So how am I handling it?

    I remember I am half of a whole marriage….consideration for my husband’s desires (for me and/or sex) is part of that “wholeness”. Face it ladies, we may not exactly quiver with excitement at the thought of sweaty sex during a hot flash but it does make me smile to know I can do something just for him that makes him happy. Thats enough of an incentive right there. Its how I show him that I love him, hes still attractive to me and that part of our live didn’t fizzle out with the onset of age and all that comes with it.

    So women, if science is correct, then doing it even when you don’t feel it will eventually hit all of us. If you don’t plan on considering his feelings then getting through menopause will not only be rough on you, it will hit him hard as well. And men don’t do menopause nearly as well as we do!! Take this as a warning……God bless us, everyone!

    • Katie oehler says:

      Thank you for sharing this point. You are so right. I am not there (50)yet but it is a good thing to remember.

  21. David says:

    This is the way my marriage has been. I try and try to engage in sex with my wife and this is the response that I get.

  22. David says:

    1 Corinthians 7:5
    Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

  23. love says:

    I totally agree with you! If couples would keep this in mind, the divorce rate we have today wouldn’t exist. Nothing nor anyone is perfect…So we can surely expect imperfection in our marriages- especially our sex life.I can really relate to this topic having been married for 8-yrs has really taught me something, everyday is not always a good day…So yes, I’m so glad people talk about subjects like this because sadly,married couples don’t:-(
    And just maybe writing our opinions/knowledge on this matter can probably save a marriage…

  24. Lawrence Namale says:

    There is great freedom in the message of this post. Do you know there are some couples that have set their standards to measure up with what is being portrayed in the media…leading to catastrophic consequences.

    It is freeing to know that the honeymoon does wear off…and that to me is an assignment. As much as sex can just be sex, it also does not mean i just let it drag.

    Great post Mark. Bless thee.

  25. Robert Dery says:

    This was an awesome article. It spoke loudly to me.I will share this with my wife, and hope we can get a recharge. Thanks

  26. J-Mom says:

    I know that there are times my husband is quite affectionate and in the mood. I may not be in the mood right then. But as long as its not because I am sick or something, I try to put aside my distractions and get focused on getting in the mood. Then I enjoy myself. But, at first thought, I might have been busy with something else and not really thinking about “being in the mood.”

    My husband has gotten really good at what Mark calls the “slow roasting” technique, so that once the kids are in bed, we are both really in the mood.

  27. Donna Marie Johnson says:

    It’s amazing the things that no one ever teaches us that we have to hear about in forums like this. Thank you, Min. Mark.

    For Christian sex abuse survivors, an ongoing conversation about sex in marriage is also much needed, for obvious reasons, to help us continue our healing process and improve our marriages. Excellent article. Passing this on.

    ~Donna Marie Johnson, Founder of Your Sisters In Survival –
    Married for 12 years to the awesome Mr. Henry Johnson, a man with a great anointing and gifting in patience for his scarred, and healed by Jesus wife.

  28. Confused says:

    Hello. My husband and I are newlyweds (been married 9 months). What I am concerned about is that I have a higher sex drive than he does. We do have sex about 3 or 4 times a week which is good, so it is not as though he has no sex drive, it is just less than mine. Also, what really hurts me is that on our honeymoon we tried oral sex, which I enjoyed and he enjoyed, but since then he will not do that again. It makes me feel like I am gross or something. He said that he just has a problem with certain textures, etc. I thought that men were suppose to desire women more than women were suppose to desire men. Why does my husband not desire me in this way? Since our honeymoon he will not come close to me “down there” other than using his fingers. There is also nothing medically wrong with me and I shower once or twice a day. I feel confused and hurt about it. It is hard for a woman not to be desired by her husband or for him to limit where he touches or kisses you. Any advice or suggestions?

  29. Scott says:

    Sadly, so true. My ex-wife (after nearly 10 yrs of marriage) thought the same way. We only had sex when she felt I treated her right for at three or four days prior to the act. This lead me to feel it was not worth trying for it anymore. Thankfully I always stayed true and never wandered from the marriage. However, it always led me to feel unwanted, useless, and a bad husband.

    She had premarital sex, but I had not. I had always wondered if that had anything to do with it. Plus, she claimed her dad always taught her that sex was dirty and only for making kids. That did not help the situation either.

  30. Katie oehler says:

    Thank you for the tips and reminders for a great marriage. I am grateful to have access to some Godly people who, like your emails have guided me in getting through the struggles and making a more positive. My husband is not one for admitting to mistakes but I know when he knows that he messed up, most times does not involve an appology. But that is the way he is. Is there room for improvement? Yes. There is always room for improvement. I can’t change him. I can only change the way I react. We kiss good night and before he leave for work. I don’t always have time to read the emails every time they come but I read as many as I can when I am able. Then it seems God puts the ones I need to read in front of me. I always get something out them.

    Thanks again.

  31. Julie says:

    Love this article!!! You are right about the chick flicks. Basically you’re right about all of it. :) Thanks for your insight and wisdom. We have been married for 26 yrs. and it may not always be fireworks and whoo hoo but it gets sweeter, deeper, and better all the time. If I could say one thing to people that have been married less years than us and are thinking about a divorce (or not thinking about a divorce) it would be to HANG IN THERE, WORK AT IT, IT GETS SOOOOOOOO MUCH BETTER!!! No, we haven’t made it past all the bumps and bruises yet, we haven’t been through years of counseling, and we still have to wade our way through muck blindfolded it seems but I can’t wait for 30, 40, and 50 years. It has been a lot of hard work but 26 years, 5 grandkids, and the sweetness of what love can truly be like is a reward I wouldn’t give up for anything. :) May God save our marriages!!!

  32. Sammy says:

    I understand “Sometimes sex is just sex” as I’ve been married for over 20 years, but after reading it in it’s entirely, I seems this post was written more to women than men yet the post was presented as written to both. In fact, women were called out in the 2nd paragraph as being “hung up” on waiting for an emotional connection before having sex.

    Reading many articles on this issue, from talking to other woman and being a woman myself it is clear woman are wired to be more “relational” in nature. In addition, we are actually “allowing someone “in” as our part of the sexual connection, therefore being emotionally connected helps alot in order to enjoy sex.

    With this said, it seems as if the article “Sometimes Sex is just sex” is written for women to enjoy sex as “just” sex because it is suggested we not wait for the emotional connection to engage, yet men don’t require as much of an emotional connection before having sex, so it’s just a regular ole sexual event and not necessarily settling for a lesser sexual encounter.

    So, if the suggestion is for women to in a sense just go along with the sexual event as a “missionary” to their husband, is there a suggestion for a man to just go along with the sexual event as a “missionary” by actually trying to connect to their wife emotionally before having sex?

    As I stated before, being married over 20 years I “get” the “wham bam thank you man” type of sexual encounter, but most often, that type of sexual experience benefits a husband far more than the wife so where’s the “Sex is just sex AND you’ll get more of that sex if you sometimes add some candles, cologne, compliments, and great music to the mix”. Just saying….

  33. Fiona says:

    Yes sex can just be sex, because it is an act of love and we choose to do it in order to express love to our spouse. I do that with my husband, when I am tired, or when I feel he just needs a boost or to feel loved. I touch him and hold him and if he responds to me it results in sex. We have sex because we love one another and are committed to one another and enjoy one another. Sometimes its fireworks sometimes it is just comfort, it is always good to give love and receive it.

  34. Flaxenmane says:

    We have Been married for 27 years. I agree with
    the sex is just sex (it sounds harsh to us females).
    My husband now says I am a boring, so I have
    stepped out of my comfort zone and we went and
    bought toys. (I don’t call it boring, when the Lord makes
    our bodies to FIT so well together – if it ain’t broke….)
    I really think it goes back to the premarital sex.

    My question is- do you think this is a good idea?
    And how long do you think it will be before he’s bored
    again? You think the rapture will come first lol?

  35. Michele Garcia says:

    I am looking for an article you wrote approximately 4-5 yrs ago about females needing to be close to their family members; do you have an archive area that I could go to to find it? Or by any chance do you remember the article I am referring to?

    Thank you for making us laugh!
    Michele Garcia

  36. Jeff says:

    Can a marriage really last if there is no emotional desire? If one spouse is completely self-absorbed and selfish, can a marriage survive? We have been through Laugh Your Way twice, did the Flagpage tests and exercises, Love Languages, Love & Respect, etc. The problem is certainly not knowing what to do – it’s actually doing it that’s the problem. I have tried very hard to love her in the way she needs to be loved by playing to her Flagpage motivations and Love Languages, but get nothing in return. I don’t expect things to be 50/50 or 100/100, but it would be nice to expect something other than 99/1. I am extremely empty and lonely and nearing the end of my rope. Any advice?

  37. Kevin Hickson says:

    I find you right on the mark, Mark. Your insight that sometimes sex in marriage is just that sex; an opportunity just to enjoy each other. Our sexuality and our desire for each other can be a blessing, a charism as it were. Sure sex is not like it was when we first married, it’s better because we know each other and are free to be ourselves, lovers as well as husband and wife. And yes we are faithful to each other.

  38. MalnourishedWife says:

    I loved your article, and I agree with it for the most part. Every person who reads it, is going to respond out of their own experiences. My 20+ years of marriage has surely been tested as it’s gone through the refiner’s fire. There has been a lot of pain, abuses, manipulations, controlling, etc…

    I find myself in a marriage with someone who is relationally immature. If we argue, he holds grudges for days, weeks, denies me affection, denies me conversation, denies me intimacy. There is no communication. He’ll say good morning to the dog and kids, and say not a word to me, except to let me know he needs to leave soon and needs breakfast. There’s no communicating throughout the day, and if there is – it’s all business. When he comes home, there might be a few exchanges of words, maybe some light conversation. When we have family dinner at the table, I might get a compliment, maybe a thank you, but for the most part, he slips out of his seat and returns to the easy chair. But when it’s time to slip into bed, then I’m suppose to be there. And I have been, and “sex has just been sex”, until recently. I’m sorry, I guess I’m selfish for thinking of myself. It has become “only sex”; one-sided, mechanical sex. The same routine (@ 20 minutes); no foreplay, no romance, no cuddling ( as in years past). I’m not asking; I’m not even demanding rose petals on the bed, a lighted candle, soft music, and chocolates (use to have some of that). I don’t agree with Mark about romance, if romance is being defined by Hollywood’s standards. I’m talking about the kind that starts when your wife walks out of the bedroom groggy from a rough night’s sleep, and you say good morning, rub her troubled back a bit and offer to pour her a cup of coffee (vice versa). If your wife would appreciate you simply brushing your teeth before bed, why should that be a problem. If a simple task like that makes intimacy more desireable to her because your breath is no longer “really bad” and you love her, why should it be a big deal. Your marriage is like a garden. If you both want to reap a good harvest, you both need to put some time into cultivating it. Neglecting your garden will cause the weeds to overrun it, so shall the same happen to a marriage. I understand “marital duty”, but if you love someone shouldn’t you want to put them first and to meet their needs and simple desires. It should be a joy to do it.

    There has been issues in the past, I think presently again, with pornography, specifically internet and smartphone. He hasn’t worn his wedding ring for close to 14 years, says he doesn’t have to be reminded that he’s married. There are other issues that have created major disappointments. Sex has basically been the only area of oneness we have managed to hang onto (1-3 times per week), until recently again. There is no oneness in finances, prayer, devotions, family, etc…

    I know we are well past the need for counseling. The sad thing about all this is, we are in position of leadership where we should be helping others resolve these issues in life. We should have a healthy relationship, not the illusion of health. All these stresses just add to the lack of enjoyment in intimacy. There may not always be “big romance”, but both husband and wife should look forward to enjoying one another; You both should want to do the little things for each other in preparation for intimacy that say, “I’m looking forward to being with you, and I want you to enjoy me.” Mutual enjoyment. I’ll take scheduled sex, fresh breath and a body, over rose petals, soft music, candlelight, and spontaneity anytime. I guess I’m showing my 20+ “marriage sex” attitude.

  39. Amy says:

    My husband and I are incompatible.
    Married 45 years and only had sex, love, intimacy once. We had sex on our wedding night that was our first and last encounter with sex or any kind of intimacy. It took all of about 15 minutes. So sex with my husband was just sex, for him is whats next. Since the day after we were married he lives in the basement works the midnight shift. We have no interaction !!!
    I personally don’t really remember what sex is all about. Its been so long ago. I just stay away from the house as much as possible.

  40. Lisa says:

    What complete rot! You can tell this is written from a very biased man’s perspective!! All you are out to get is sex no matter what! Fir a man I am sure sex is just sex but for a woman sex is usually very tied up with emotion and how they feel and it is very difficult for a woman to separate the two. You obviously know very little about women if you think they can. Women don’t have to feel fireworks and thrill like at the beginning of a relationship every time, that would be unrealistic and silly, but they certainly need to feel loved and appreciated to want to have sex. If men could just understand this and treat women accordingly, they’d find very willing partners. Simples!

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