Sex is a sensitive issue and should be discussed honestly and freely between couples, during courtship, in the run up to marriage and consistently in marriage. While it is innate to procreate, couples learn and perfect the act by talking and expressing each others needs and desires especially with the fact that sex before and outside marriage is sin before God. How freely this is discussed depends on how open both parties are and the trust they have for each other. People have different upbringings, differences in life experiences including doctrinal and cultural differences which contribute to the list of hindrances and barriers preventing loving couples from achieving sexual harmony in marriage.
Generally, sex is high if not number one in a man’s priority while for women love, attention and affection are considered top priority. You can liken the man to a tap that can be quickly switched on and off to get running water, while a woman is like a well that needs time and effort to draw the water out. To a man sex is an act, to a woman it is an experience. The potency of a man is closely linked to his ability to perform, while a woman needs to feel loved to respond accordingly. By honestly and openly discussing each others needs, harmony and sexual fulfilment would ensue.
In the early days of marriage, the experience is exciting and you cannot seem to get enough of each other. But as time goes by, the desire begins to dwindle as you settle into the marriage. It care isn’t taken, you begin to take each other for granted, other things become more important especially when you start having children. Most often the man feels neglected and the woman feels she’s no longer attractive. The marriage begins to go downhill. He is either no longer interested, tired or needs to go out. She is either busy doing house chores, tending to the children or not just interested. You feel trapped in your marriage. You are not getting sexual fulfilment at home and as a Christian you shouldn’t have extra-marital affairs or commit adultery. The frustration builds and you become very irritable and take out your frustration on your spouse and children.
It is natural, that after being together for a while the sparkle that once existed will begin to dwindle hence there is the need for both parties to put in concerted effort to keep the flame alive as discussed in "3 Ways to Keep the Love Aflame: A Husband’s Perspective". Effort from both parties is required to make the experience exciting, different and something to look forward to. But how?
Talk about it
There isn’t any better solution to sexual bliss other than honest and open communication. It may take time to get to that place where you can openly talk about sex without being ashamed or shy. You both have to make the effort to. Let him know exactly what you want, where you want it, how often and how you want it. You will be surprised how ignorant men are about the precise needs of a woman or specifically your needs. Be as detailed as possible, show him and teach him if needed. For spouses that may have previously been sexually active or have been involved with others, they may assume your needs to be similar to the needs of previous partners.
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge
The same goes for the man. Discuss your needs and agree on the modus operandi. However, whatever you agree to do must be mutual and not leave the other person feeling abused, violated or dirty.
Remember when you were dating, when you wanted him to notice you, you wore nice clothes, made sure your hair was always tidy, you had make-up, perfume etc. Men are visually stimulated unlike women that have to feel their way through. While it may not be the intention of the woman not to be presentable to her husband, she needs to ensure that household chores do not have the better of her. Take for instance a wife stays home, does household chores and looks after the children while the husband goes to work in an office. The woman expends her energy doing the hard work at home. By the time the husband gets home from work she is tired, worn out and probably still in her cleaning clothes. The husband on the other hand goes to work and most likely would see and meet other charming and well dressed women as would be expected. When he gets home he sees his beloved wife in her house clothes and probably without any make up, just to say the least. While he may be very appreciative of the hard work she’d done, unconsciously he may not be impressed. Overtime it builds up and a vacuum is created in the heart of the man. The woman is the glory of the man, but his glory doesn’t seem to glow at the moment.
Let him see what he wants and want what he sees
Make the extra effort to be presentable at all times to your husband. Let him see what he wants and want what he sees. Greet him at the door with a hug and a kiss when he gets back from work. Make him feel missed and wanted – set his motor running. Gentlemen, be conscious of your hygiene and appearance too.
Commend each other
While it’s necessary to talk to you spouse about your sexual needs, it should be done tactfully and in a loving manner. If done wrongly, it can cause grave damage to the confidence of your spouse. Regardless of how the experience may have been, it can only get better. Find something to commend your spouse about the last time. Don’t major on what you didn’t get or feel. With time and practice all bases would be covered. Make your spouse look forward to the next time. Make effort to ask your spouse how it was, what was good, what can be done better. Except you are a mind reader, how else can you improve without feedback? Nagging doesn’t do any good. I’m yet to meet a man that likes a nagging wife or a woman that constantly want to be criticised.
Be creative. Fill up your love tanks and build the atmosphere for the anticipated. Don’t expect dividends after you’ve been nasty and irritable all day. However do not use sex as a weapon or withhold it as punishment.
Make the move
In some cultures, it is forbidden for a woman to make the move even if she’s need deep desire. A man generally wants a lady in public and a wild cat in private, just to put it mildly. Sometimes you’ll need to initiate things and set the ball rolling. He shouldn’t be made to feel that he should always be the initiator even though it’s high on his priority list. With time and experience, you should be able to tell when he needs cooling down by his expressions, mannerisms, tone of voice and language. The same way women would prefer men to know what they are thinking by the clues they leave, men do appreciate the same as well.
Fill up the love tank
Make her feel loved and special. Buy her gifts, flowers etc. Don’t buy them only when you want something in return. Women are smart too. They’ll figure you out. Women like romance, while you may have the ultimate on your mind, all she want may just be a cuddle and perhaps just to talk. You may need a cold shower after that. In like manner, he may be ready to go and not have time for the preambles.
Compromise is thus required and knowing what to do only comes by communicating your needs and experience. Be fun and happy to be with. Touch each other as and when needed and as often as possible. She may be just expecting you to touch here as an assurance that she’s still desired. She may not just be trying to reach the suit case on wardrobe, or see what’s lying on the floor; she may just want to see what she’s got, hear your comments and perhaps feel your touch. She could be asking you how the dress looks, while silently she’s asking if she is still attractive to you. Take the hint and act accordingly.
There must have been something that attracted your spouse to you. Keeping the flame alive in marriage requires concerted and determined efforts from both parties. Open and honest communication is of paramount importance and can be achieved when there is mutual trust and commitment to the success of the marriage.