In 4 out of 5 marriages, men have the higher sex drive and are the primary initiator of sexual experiences. If you are in one of these marriages this comes as no surprise to you. It may seem like your husband is constantly wanting sex and acts like a wounded puppy dog if you’re not in the mood. It begs the question: Why is sex so important to my husband?
It’s the way God made him.
He came from the factory this way. That’s how God made him. It’s actually part of the whole created in God’s own image thing talked about in the Bible. You see, a man’s passionate and unrelenting pursuit of intimacy with his wife reflects God’s passionate pursuit of people’s hearts. When we were still completely disinterested in Him, He loved us and pursued us, wooing our heart that we might be in an intimate relationship with Him.
Repeatedly in the Bible God uses the marriage relationship, husband and wife relationship, to illustrate the kind of relationship he wants to have with people; He being our husband and us His bride. In this relationship, God is always interested in connecting intimately with us. There’s never a day of the week or time of day or any place that He isn’t willing to connect with us if we make the time to do so. You’ll never get an “I’m too tired, come back later” message from Him.
There’s also this amazing metaphor for the intimacy that God desires to have with us displayed through intercourse. In every other religion, God is out there somewhere and we are trying to get to god. In Christianity, the message of the Gospel is that God came for us, and when we embrace Him he literally indwells our body, alive inside of us. This closeness of relationship is mirrored as a husband literally indwells his bride’s body through intercourse when she accepts him.
Sex is a primary way a man emotionally bonds with his wife.
Again we’ll blame God for this since in His perfect wisdom God designed your husband’s body to release the bonding hormone oxytocin in enormous quantities when experiencing orgasms with his wife. Wives experience this too, but men do so 400% more.
You may be familiar with oxytocin if you have vaginally delivered children. The synthetic form, Pitocin, is often administered during baby delivery to move labor along. It’s because of the massive amounts of this bonding hormone in your blood when your baby arrives that doctors believe you want to snuggle with your baby instead of killing it after all the pain it caused you. It’s also the hormone that triggers a nursing mom’s milk let down when her baby nuzzles and causes the feeling of closeness when your kids snuggle on your lap while you read them a story.
God wired your husband so that when he connects with you sexually, the skin to skin contact and hormone release with orgasm would create deep emotional bonding between he and you. It’s this oxytocin flood through his body that also makes him very sleepy after sex. In the absence of regular oxytocin events like sex, your husband will be emotionally disconnected from you.
Sex is a huge part of a man’s identity.
In more than 10 years of therapy I have yet to have a man sit on my couch and say “Josh, my wife only loves me for my penis. Sex, sex, sex, it’s all she wants. It’s like she doesn’t even care about me as a person. All I am to her is a walking penis.” Now maybe that guy exists, but I’ve not met him yet. I have, however, had many wives express the sentiment concerning their husbands – that they feel their husband isn’t interested in them as a person, only as a sex object.
This idea is foreign to men because their sexuality is very much integrated with their identity. While women experience their sexuality as largely separate from their personhood. For a man, to reject him sexually is a rejection of his personhood.
Sometimes I illustrate this with a story about the best and worst anniversary card ever given. The story goes like this:
A husband decides to write his wife an anniversary card to express his undying love for her. It reads, “Darling, you are so beautiful and I find you so sexually un-resistible that if you were in a coma and we could never have another conversation but we could still have sex – I wouldn’t mind a bit, I’d keep you around so we could keep having sex.”
How do you think that wife felt? How would you feel? Not very good probably. Quite possible the worst anniversary card ever, yes?
Now, take that same anniversary card and have a wife give it to her husband, “Darling, you are such a stud and I find you so sexually un-resistible that if you were in a coma I would keep your body around so I could keep having sex with you.”
You’re likely to hear this guy telling his friends around the locker room “You’re never going to believe what my wife said….it was the nicest thing she’s ever said to me…”
The reason for this is that men’s identity and sexuality are so integrated. To accept a man sexually is to accept him. To reject a man sexually is to reject him. Often times women will say this to their husband, thinking they are paying him a compliment: “Honey, I love you so much, appreciate you as dad, and enjoy being married to you – if we never had sex again, I would be OK with that, I just don’t need that part of our relationship – it’s you that are so precious to me.”
A man hearing this from his wife feels about the same as a wife feels hearing, “Honey, I love having sex with you so much, if we never have another meaningful conversation, if I never have to hear your voice again, but we can keep having great sex – I would be OK with that, I just don’t really need that whole conversation part of our relationship.”
Most wives would be crushed hearing this – husbands feel the same. Only, instead of expressing it in tears men tend to express hurt in the form of anger. They may blow up or just shut-down and withdraw from the relationship.
It’s a big way he feels affirmed and accepted by you.
Since a man’s sexuality is such a big part of his identity it’s also a significant way he feels affirmed and accepted by his wife. Words, acts of service, quality time, non-sexual physical touch, and sometimes gifts all matter – but none of these love languages replace a man’s longing to feel wanted sexually by his wife. Nothing says, “I love you, thank you, I think you’re great,” to a man quite like, “You’re a stud and I look forward to having sex with you.”
The entire pornography and illicit sex industry is built on the exploitation of this powerful reality for men. Porn and illicit sex is never rejecting, always affirming, and always wants you sexually. While this is a fantasy and no real woman could ever live up to this, it illustrates what the industry knows about a man’s heart. Every man wants to be found sexually desirable by his wife and to feel accepted/affirmed sexually by her.
Men and women are different by design.
Men experience their sexuality differently than women. While this may be confusing to wives, it’s not because men are broken or defective – it’s how God made us. Believe it or not, the differences are actually complementary.
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