Here’s a question I received nearly a couple weeks ago, and I’m trying to catch up on my email, so here we go:
How can I help my wife understand that she’s a sexual being too?
My wife enjoys sex (which happens about 1-2 times a week), but rarely orgasms. When she does, it can be intense (she’s even squirted twice)… but she doesn’t seem to pursue her own sexual climax, ever. It just sort of happens. If I ask her to tell me what she likes or what feels good, she’ll equivocate and not really give an answer.
We have 3 kids under 5 (which of course presents it’s own set of problems), but this is the way she’s always been. Sex is always about me directing what we’re doing–she never initiates any position switching, or directs our intimacy in any way.
The frustrating part is that she definitely CAN have a great sexual experience, but she just doesn’t care enough about to really pursue it.
That’s a difficult one. I’m glad you said “how can I help” instead of “how can I make”, because you can’t make anyone do anything. But, honestly, your situation sounds pretty normal. Women, in general (but not all), prefer to be led in the bedroom. Most like to be the recipient, to be submissive rather than dominant, prefer to be invited and seduced, not take charge and lead themselves. Part of this, I think, has to do with how we were created. I think in general men need to lead more, in this and other areas.
But, that’s not to say women can’t express themselves, be more invested and learn to be equal partners in their sexual relationship. I think part of the blame for them not doing so lies in how our church (and in small part society) still views sex. Often sex is still seen as “for the husband”, and women are discouraged from expressing too much interest, excitement or passion for it. It’s hard to change that mentality overnight.
And even when you want to change, it’s not easy to. That’s why I build a course to teach those wives who are trying to change their mindset about their relationship with sex. The good news is: it’s possible to change, our course participants are living proof of that. The bad news (?) is: they have to want to. You can’t just sign your wife up and expect her to change. If she doesn’t want to do it of her own free will, then it’s doubtful she’s going to accept the mindset changes needed to be free of those barriers.
So, is there nothing you can do?
No, you can help, in small ways. The first is to continue to lead in this area. Don’t stop just because you’re tired of always being “in charge”. One of the saddest dynamics I’ve seen is when a wife finally “wakes up” and has a paradigm shift, realizes how much sex is important, and suddenly wants it more and wants to explore it more…but by then her husband has long since given up and his drive and attraction has decreased to the point he no longer is interested. So, be sure to keep that alive, just in case she has a change of heart.
Secondly, you can take baby steps with her. Don’t ask her to come up with a whole new idea on her own. Ask instead which of two ideas she likes better. If she has trouble choosing one, make them more diverse. Something she would obviously like vs. something that she might not get much out of. For example: would you like a full body massage, or to give me a blow job? Most low-drive non-sexually-engaged wives would jump at the massage, even if they know it’s going to result in something sexual. But, at least it’s a decision. Then start making the decisions closer together. Like I said, small, baby steps. Show her that making decisions about sex, that having an opinion, isn’t sinful, or dirty or shameful, or whatever is going through her head.
And lastly, keep communication open. Talk about sex, not just about what’s bothering you, but good things too. Sex needs to be seen as a “normal” topic for husbands and wives. That’s hard to accomplish from the start. It’s awkward and strange, so for that, I’d suggest our 37 questions for spouses to ask each other about sex. It’s sort of a cheat sheet to get you up and running communicating about sex, so you don’t have to think up the questions yourself.
Remember, she’s not a guy
I know, hard to forget when you’re in bed naked together, but sometimes we expect our spouses to act like we do. And for many men, that means expecting our wives to approach sex like a guy (though we’re careful not to think of it exactly like that). Actually, this applied to any high-drive spouse I think. We want our spouses to be as excited about sex as we are, because that’s how we feel emotionally connected, loved, and how we show love (at least one way, if not the primary way). And when it doesn’t happen…well, we have a tendency to feel disconnected, unloved, and that our expression of love is rejected. But, that’s not what your spouse is feeling.
So, you’re going to have to get better at seeing sex through her eyes, not so that you can change how you view it, but so that you can understand how she does, be compassionate about dealing with the conflict, and communicate more effectively about each other’s perspective.
And you might have to step up your leading and dominance in this area. I don’t have a course for that yet, but I’m working on it 🙂
24 thoughts on “How can I help my wife understand that she’s a sexual being too?”
The situation I face in this regard is that my wife wants to be seduced into sex and have me initiate everytime but once she makes up her mind to allow sex to occur she then takes complete dominance and we can only do what she demands (positions, actions, timing, words, etc.). It feels like I’m expected to do ask of the hard parts to get the ignition started but once the engine revs I become nothing more an inanimate sex toy or else she doesn’t enjoy it and will shut us down.
Does the word “handcuffs” mean anything to you, Hans? Ha! Kidding. Or not. Maybe she’s waiting for you to lead her. Maybe she needs a little loving force, a more aggressive physical posture during sex. Maybe after “ignition”, as you put it, you pin her arms, perform a vigorous removal of clothing, you aggressively impose super-cunnilingus on her, you give her nibbles, you get her going that way, how can she refuse?
Vigorous, manly, virile love is a great thing for most women, applied correctly. So, as a further encouragement, I’m reading an article in Psychology Today, 90% of women have some form or another of a “rape” fantasy and 32% of women have played that particular game with their men. I’m guessing the other 58% wish their men had the nerve and drive to carry it out. Now that doesn’t mean you slug her, or hold a knife to her throat and God knows I’m not coming through the bedroom window with a handgun in support of a woman’s fantasy, even my Wife’s. Ok, ok, I lend myself to comic relief! Ha!
However, a tearing off of clothes, an urgent communication of lust, this is the stuff of the romance novels so many women read and on some level, measure their men by. How can they help it? Onrushing, I-cannot-stop love expressed to your woman, )assuming she doesn’t slug YOU in the head) may be just the thing for you two. Get a hold of what your wife reads and see what tickles her fancy. Every woman has a tell.
Look, 50 Shades of Grey wasn’t written for men, it was women that read the book and filled the theaters after all. At heart, this is husbandly leadership, is it not? They crave it, some are desperate for it, it’s our duty as husbands to provide it if that’s what is missing. And, it’s pretty damned hot!
It’s a start, it’s something to consider, carefully, but between man and wife, everything in the bedroom is fair play between willing hearts. But positions are simply the moment you’re in while you’re making love, don’t get too hung up on positions or routines. There should be no routines, making love is and of itself, infinitely varied and the position you’re in is simply the manifestation of the moment.
Jay Dee, what is the sanctity, the permission for married couples to engage in their own, personal married-couple rape fantasies? Is that a little freaky? Over the edge? If it is, let the record show we have sinned, Lord!
Not mine. My wife wouldn’t touch a “romance novel” because she considers then to be pornographic. And when sex edges over to what she would consider as lustful she shuts us off. She tells me every few months that love and list are two completely different things and she can’t feel loved if she thinks I’m feeling lust because it means that I don’t want her but I just want her body and to fill my own desires.
Selfish and feminist double-talk, all of it. How can loving sex with your wife NOT be lust, a pure lust and certainly not sinful lust? Ah, but lust was ok when she wanted children? Sounds like your wife is pretty selective about her lust, engaging in said lust only when there’s something in it for her. I suppose none of this was explored on some level before you married? Of course you have desires, you want them fulfilled and it’s also an expression of love for your wife. What, you’re supposed to take your love (if ever?) with a blindfold and gag over your yap so there’s no “expression” of lust? What happens if there’s a quickening of breath on your part? Foreplay? How does sex not edge toward lustful? What she tells you goes around and around in circles closing off any notion that you will ever have a love life. How do you two even sleep in the same bed? Your life must be very difficult. You did the right thing, work, marry, I assume you gave her children and the feminist imperative kicks in and bingo, you’re banned, high and dry from your own marital and biological imperative. For life.
Like I told you awhile back, Jay-Dee, I could never be a counselor because I can’t take the lies married tell each other. This woman isn’t about to show up to any cognitive-based counseling in a million years, but assuming a story such as this is accurate, I’d poke more holes in that woman’s arguments against sex (the lust vs. love vs. lust refusal gambit) than Swiss Cheese. Then, I’d look her straight in the eye and ask her in all candor, “How long has your affair been going on, Mrs. Hans, and with whom?” This narrative the wife gives him is straight out of the new Christian Feminist ethic. And it’s a cover for something else, but that’s a notion for further digging.
Hans, God Bless, brother. Your situation is awful. In your next life, marry anyone but a woman steeped in feminism. Feminism empowers this nonsense. It has taught her that what she wants goes, what you want is a turd on her shoe. Of course, if she’s at the point she won’t give you sex, she may already be planning the Divorce-Rape in exchange for Cash and Prizes, sponsored by YOU.
Meanwhile, I’d have a look at your wife’s social media, Facebook (check her married, or not, status on Facebook), Tinder, Match.com, OKCupid, those there for starters. You can search those. This whole thing is fishy. If the situation was reversed, I’d tell the woman the same thing. But since we’re all nice and Equal-Rights now, I mistrust both genders equally. Any exasperated protests from her of “You don’t trust meeeeeee!” means you can’t trust her. Just sayin’. After that, I’d even give a private session with Jay-Dee a try. He’s a better soul than I.
See, this is my beef with the manosphere (which you are quoting perfectly I think).
3rd wave feminism hits and we get all these crazy ideas, so the manosphere rises up and creates just as crazy ideas to offset it. And both play into Satan’s game of setting husbands against wives, because he knows that if they ever became a team that actually trusts each other and had fulfilling (including sex) marriages, then they’d be a force to be reckoned with.
But, as Satan always does, he mixes truth with lies, so that you think it’s of value.
Feminism says that woman are complete without men: truth
Feminism says then that women don’t need men at all: depends on the situation
Feminism goes further to say men should be subservient: false
Manosphere says that women want strong men: true
Manosphere says that men should: depends on the situation
Manosphere says that if a woman isn’t letting the man lead, she’s having an affair: false
The feminist movement and the manosphere started off in the right direction. Feminists wanted equal rights, and for both genders to be equally valued. I think that’s incredibly important. The manosphere wanted to rebuild marriages where the husband was the head of the family, with strong leadership and guidance. I think that’s incredibly important too.
Then they both went insane and took it way too far.
So, in light of that, I think there is some truth in the above comment. But, there’s enough crazy mixed in as well, influenced by the manosphere, just as I see enough crazy mixed in from the feminist movement in other comments.
Hans, I don’t think your wife is necessarily having an affair just because she doesn’t want to have “lustful sex”. She’s just been deceived like most of us have in one way or another. But, I agree with confronting her with the lies she’s taken in … just not in the way that Jim suggests.
What do you think would happen if you suggested reading a book together that was a Bible study on Song of Solomon? I’d highly suggest Intimacy Ignited. You might both be surprised by what that book has to offer.
Jay Dee, the “manosphere” is a bunch of guys that have never had girls, will never have wives, never have children. And they’re angry. My gripe is feminism and I’ve been ahead of the curve on these shrews for thirty years. I used to install phones systems in DC for NOW’s offices. For Planned Parenthood’s HQ in DC, but later, all over DC for the abortion mills, but they were going to be for women’s “health care”. Later, years later, I’d go back to those sites for repairs and the little girls from GW. University, from American, from Catholic University would be lined up by the dozen(s) for abortions every single morning of the week. Feminism.
Slut walks all over DC. Feminism. Affirmative action hiring in public safety in Fire, Police and military. Disaster. Feminism. And feminism has infected Christianity. Pastors in all orders, catering to the idea that the Fathers are inadequate, desert their children, this in the face of the very fact that WOMEN initiate the Divorce Rape 70% of the time and deny their children access to the Father. And still, no accountability asked of the women by the church. Feminism has infected the church to the point that any notion of responsibility of the women, in spite of all the perks handed over by society and the courts terrifies the pastors.
I personally am ahead of the lame and limp “men going their own way” in terms of my awareness of the damage feminism has done our women to the tune of thirty years. Those “men” are late to the game. For twenty years now, I noticed and railed against the obvious: our women are obese, pierced, slutty, self-absorbed with all manner of social media and are toxic for any young men to consider relationships with because they are so indoctrinated toward self. If your husband wants sex and you, little Ms don’t, invent a story about “lust vs. love”. “What you want counts, not what Mr. Hans wants”. Not to drag Mr. Hans into it.
Now, if the men are responsible to work, support children, maintain house, home and hearth, the women are responsible to maintain their husband’s mental and familial and sexual foundation. And any system of support that doesn’t demand that of the WOMEN in addition to the routine demanding of responsibilities by men is suspect. And where that is suspect, where women aren’t accountable in any ministry, feminism is to blame. Now you blame my recognition of that on the “‘Man”-O-Sphere” all you want, Jay Dee, but I’ve been observing this dynamic for thirty years, maybe forty. And my recognition of the problem, and it IS the problem, is on feminism. If you, Jay Dee, identify as male feminist, then I do not know how you claim to lead your family. And, it seems clear to me now why you haven’t stepped up to call Mrs. Hans on HER dereliction, her absolute sloth, her neglectful manner, in attending to HER husband’s needs, even as she feeds off of Mr. Han’s labors, humanity and soul.
Hans, if you’re confident of your wife’s “fidelity”, so am I. But that doesn’t let her off the hook. Her refusal of your needs is reprehensible. If you don’t find that to be the case, I have no idea why you post your gripes, looking for support from your fellow man which you then, having secured that, spit on.
Things are upside down here, in this particular environment. The men are dissatisfied by and large, many complain, when solutions and cause and effect are defined, the complainers immediately defend that which demeans and denies them their male imperative. And the “minister”, instead of defending the flock, the males, blames the “manosphere” for one man’s demand that the headship of the group demand accountability from the women. Feminism defines the church, the center of worship and these institutions rail against the men, desperate for an answer why the men won’t sit and take it. And so they do not.
God Bless you all, and Merry Christmas. And you too, Hans. May you, your brood and bride, be well. I hope it all comes out ok for you.
Well, it might seem clear to you why I haven’t “stepped up to call Mrs. Hans on HER dereliction…”, but let me spell it out for you, in case you missed it: she’s not here to talk to. Hans is. So, I speak to him about what he can do. That’s it nothing more.
No sense ranting at the person who’s not even listening. I’m sure there’s a proverb about that…
As for the rest, I have apparently not been in the churches you have. The last sermon my wife and I preached together was on the hierarchy within the household (men leading, women supporting). So, I can’t say I see churches doing what you say they are doing. In fact, I’ve never seen that behavior, and I’ve been in churches my entire life, and visited more than a few different denominations.
And here’s the problem with the manosphere, which you claim not to be in, but you repeat their teachings to a “T”: They’re goal is to get the most, best sex, for the least amount of effort, responsibility, and without any true intimacy. That’s the goal, plain and simple. In fact, they don’t even care if it’s with the same woman you started with. Divorce is nothing to the manosphere (so long as the man “gets away with it”), as long as he ends up with a women who will “give him sex” whenever he wants.
Sadly, they’re missing out on how awesome marriage can be, because they’ll never know what intimacy is. I hope you figure it out before you get married again.
Call me naive but I trust my wife’s faithfulness without fail. We weren’t just married “till death do us part” but were sealed for time and all eternity, but I don’t expect you to be able to understand that concept or the power that comes from that knowledge. From reading about your views of the world you obviously spend too much time watching porn and reading tabloids, so I wouldn’t expect you to understand what its like to actually love and trust a woman. I agree with my wife that there is a line between a loving and intimate sexual encounter and a lustful feast that distracts from the spiritual intimacy that needs to be present in a marriage.
” I agree with my wife that there is a line between a loving and intimate sexual encounter and a lustful feast that distracts from the spiritual intimacy that needs to be present in a marriage.”
Then why do you come here and complain of the lust vs. love vs. lust loop you’re caught in when your wife denies you physical love? Hans, you make no sense. You can’t have it one way then claim another. Since you waiver, I now wonder if you simply haven’t the sterones to make your wife feel the love. I just don’t know how you flip back and forth.
Nonetheless, this is the Twilight Zone. I wish you and yours well. Merry Christmas to all. To all, many Good Nights.
Hearing of you and your wife’s plight hurts my heart because we have the same issues in our marriage.
Please know that we as wives adore our husbands,Nouri know gets in share not nag armor and if your wife waited until marriage, we had a certain amount of honor that we wore as a badge for such a time that we knew that aThe Lo d was pleased with it us. But then after marriage we ” changed jobs” you could say and then may not have had any one to speak for not our lives about marriage and its ” marital advantages” and society tak s very little care in preserving it in young people. Sobafter years of courageously and persevering through the temptations, just letting it all go is very difficult. So we become sad perhaps even go through a grieving process of the innocence we once had . My maternal influences either gave me lectures on our bodies Beong “white gloves” not to n
Be tarnished and never to be clean or never talked about the “joys ” do marr I Ed life. We wives must learn to forgive but appreciate the efforts made .
Please husbands, forgive us if we treat our times with you as a ” bi polar experience. ( I am crying right now because I don’t even know how to find the answer and wish that I could. What is the key?
My loving and patient husband would say PRAYER.
A FERVENT PRAYER IS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILTH MUCH.
Perhaps reading the beautifull love story of Ruth and Boaz
Reminding us of the beauty of the love that Jacob had for Rachel
Incorporating and validating that you acknowledge her make up as a romantic being
Continue to be kind and persevering. Believe me, the guilt of not serving our husbands eats away at us and so pray for us , prayer for your protection and PRAY that we wives can remember that we are allowed but even that would seems clinical. We are desired and husbands you derserveour selves in return because of your committed vows and steadfastness in just putting up with us.
Let her know that she is not alone in her feelings but it does not make us right with God. Lord helps s to say yes and that we are both created by the same God for the privileged and honored purpose of caring for your ne another
Thank you for letting me post a reply.
Thank you for your compassion and devotion to your wife, I say the same to my husband so many times
I’d be curious to see how she defines lust, and then match that up as to how we are to be “intoxicated” with our wife’s body, according to the Bible.
I think there is a fine line between being dominant and playing at rape. I think being dominant can be fun, playful, etc. Rape…well, rape is an act of violence, there is nothing good in it.
I don’t think playing rape, or playing into those rape fantasies fall under the biblical guidance. Instead, I think we need to recognize what the root cause of those fantasies are, and then work to fulfill those God-given needs, of safety and security, of feeling cared for.
I’d suggest reading the book The Fantasy Fallacy to get more information on this topic. It’s more than I can address in a comment.
Or, I have a post on Rape Fantasies as well.
But, I agree, more dominance is usually a fairly safe bet for men (unless they’re already domineering and brutish, then perhaps not).
And no, not brutish. At least, not outside your woman’s fantasies. That’s the being careful part. After all, Jay-Dee, number one rule, absolute Job !, No one goes to jail. Ha! Take care, Merry Christmas. My time here is done. T’was a pleasure.
I am a mom of three kids 6 and under, and you’re spot on, Jay. I encourage this writer to remember it is just a stage of life too. During these little years sex isn’t even on the radar for many women (not saying that’s okay) but it seems as if it is on this wife’s radar and that alone is great!! But at the prospect of sex when you are that bone weary, trying to get to orgasm sometimes sounds like it’s more trouble than it’s worth. For right now, I think this hubby’s best bet is to counteract that by continually showing her a great time in bed (which does not have to mean orgasm btw) and to lead in this area, because as the kids get older she will have more energy and space to think about what she wants in bed. I think as long as this couple keeps talking and this guy keeps leading, this wife will flourish in the bedroom and likely grow! But now is not the right time for growth in this area for her. I hope that doesn’t come across as harsh, it’s just that mom-mode is so overbearing at this stage. My youngest is 19 months and now that she is finally sleeping better, I have a lot more “room” for sexual growth and exploration. Hang in there and keep doing what you’re doing.
Kay, this would stand to reason if her response to sex had changed when the kids arrived. But we were married 8 years before having kids, and her attitude to and engagement with sex was the same then too. Why would I expect her response to change as the kids get older if the attitude wasn’t any different before having kids?
I’ve explained how important sex is to me many times, and every time she affirms that–but it does not lead to any lasting change. She places more importance on her role as mother, her leadership role in a 2-day-week bible study, and leading a Mom’s ministry. When she falls asleep at night out of exhaustion most nights of the week, I certainly feel like my needs play 4th fiddle to her other responsibilities.
I know I can only change myself and pray, and will continue to seek to improve my attitude and role as husband and father. I also know that there is only so long a human spirit can endure until it gives up and accepts the way things are, instead of the way I wish for them to be. In regards to our sex life, I’m approaching that point after 13 years of marriage.
Jay–I do like your suggestion of presenting a choice, and will try that. My years of learned pessimism says it won’t change anything, but it might be fun.
Dan Allender has a great podcast and he touches on marriage, intimacy and sexuality. a recent series he did with his wife confronts a little bit of this issue. His wife talks about how it wasn’t until she took up yoga that she learned to stop her usually multi tasking mind from wandering and losing interest in sex, she learned to be present in her body and to enjoy what she was experiencing but it took some mental training. Its titled Marriage: becoming one flesh. Women are so used to thinking about all the things happening around them its hard to stop and just think about what we feel and what we want physically in that moment.
God has done a great work in my own heart by meditating on the woman in Song of Solomon and how she embraces her God designed sexuality. Often times wives have been taught and are even taught now that sexuality occurs only when you come together in physical intimacy as opposed to God making it an intentional part of their bodies and spirits. The first part of Job 39 also opened my eyes to His good design and the glory He gets in my body doing what it was designed to do, in the midst of splendid thunderstorms and mountains God Himself declares His glory in how he watches the female deer’s body produce offspring and then counts the days of her birth cycle and then watches that baby come out of her body. Such a humble common thing. Yet how much more does He take joy and glory in my human body parts creating new life and experiencing orgasmic pleasure the way He intended it to on a purely physical level, then on a joyful spiritual level and as I share this most vulnerable intimate part of my being with my husband and how I let him KNOW me in this way. But truly, first it starts with me claiming that God’s design of my body is good and that it glorifes Him. This sounds weird, and maybe it is, but sometimes to really let the truth set in that abandoning myself in sexual pleasure with my husband is part of God’s plan is to imagine Him seeing me, us in the midst of it and celebrating it, and in turn imagining myself not turning or hiding in shame, but rejoicing, worshiping and being thankful.
Thanks for sharing Annie!
I have learned over the years to accept my wife’s low desire for sex. We have talked about this in the past. She just does not think about sex nor does she dream about sex. In fact, she says that she does not have a low desire but rather a different desire. This acceptable to her. This has not changed over 35 years of marriage. Our frequency of sex has changed somewhat though…3 times a month for the first 30 years and the last 5 years it is once every 3 weeks. Just like the Apostle Paul, I am learning to be content in all things…
This cracked me up: “Would you like a full body massage, or to give me a blow job? ”
The one thing I might add is that it’s important to tell your wife how much it means to *you* to give *her* pleasure. You probably feel *awesome* when you give her a great orgasm. Tell her that you love to pleasure her, and it makes you feel great when she climaxes.
Don’t try to put pressure on her. Many women seem to be fine without climaxing every time they have sex. Don’t make your wife feel inadequate. Just reinforce to her that you love to give her sexual pleasure.
And then you have my wife, who in 16 years of marriage has had 0 to Negative drive while mine is off the charts. Sexless marriages suck.
I’m beginning to realise that it’s tied to the spiritual as Jay explains. Lot’s say there is not much about sex in the new testament but if you take seriously the relationship perameters then it is very relevant to the bedroom indeed.
I think the key is working with them where they are. If she has low drive then make sure you let her know how great it is when you guys can connect in that way. Compliment on what is already happening. If she gets praise on her sexual activities she is doing now she maybe more apt to doing more. For me, my love language is words of affirmation if I get a “atta girl” I’m more likely to engage and try harder to please and feel loved. Not sexually though, in the light of this post I come at sex kinda like a guy does 😉
It seems my previous comment has disappeared. I am afraid that by trying to silence me using the classic misogynistic tactic of diverting the conversation to my ‘ emotional’ state rather than grappling with the case in point. You have thrown up the fact that you don’t want to deal with the core issue but would rather have long discussions. My point was that sexual ownership is both shared and personal. For instance a man shouldn’t say I gave her an orgasm , her enjoyment isn’t really about him, it’s something he had the pleasure of experiencing.
Having spoken to thousands of different women on the topic, most feel burdened with every chore and sex begins to feel like another thing on the list. I didn’t say oh yes that means avoid sex but rather reframe, this draconian, darkened and uneducated view of women’s sexual enjoyment.
It didn’t disappear, it just hadn’t passed moderation yet. Unfortunately, websites get a lot of spam comments, so I moderate first time commenters. It’s a fairly standard practice. I’ll forgive your tirade as it was clearly based on false assumptions. Perhaps you can learn a lesson from it?
As for the rest, I have no idea what point you’re trying to make. It just looks like a bunch of feminist rhetoric noise to be honest. I’m not very partial to either men’s rights nor feminist activists. They’re just two sides of the same spectrum of missing the point.