This is the ninth post in the 1/2 Marathon being orchestrated by the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association. I have a bunch of questions left from the A Males Perspective teleconference I spoke at last week. As such, I’ll be using this marathon to answer some of the questions I received. Please note, these are my perspective. I cannot vouch for all males and when I’m giving my perspective on women, I certainly cannot vouch for all women. Also, all references to gender traits are based on the average population, there are exceptions of course. Please do not be offended by these if you are not “neurotypical” for your gender. So, on to the question:
I would like for my husband to be more creative when it comes to initiating sex and not just jumping into it. What should I do?
Alright, first things first. Go back and read my post called
Does It Hurt A Man’s Feelings When We Give Instructions To Him In The Bedroom On What We Like And Dislike As A Women In Bed? I know, it’s a long title, but the post is pretty short. I’ll wait.
Done? Good, because this post won’t work unless you understand and apply that post.
So, other blogs/magazines/people would suggest leaving hints around the house, magazines opened to a certain article, books on the coffee table, webpage left open on the computer, etc., telling a husband how to be more creative in bed/while initiating. This seems manipulative to me. I am always going to be in favour of straightforward honest bluntness, especially when dealing with men. We don’t really do subtle very well. Don’t hint around the subject, don’t expect him to read your mind.
If you have something specific you want, then come right out and tell him. I know, this breaks the rules of you wanting him to do it without being told, but he’s not a mind reader, and he never will be. If you want it to happen, I’m sorry, you’re going to have to tell him in clearly defined terms without ambiguity. No hinting, not humming and hawing, just straight out tell him. I know, it can be hard to do, it takes guts to put yourself out there, but you want change, and change is uncomfortable. If it makes you feel better, he’ll probably feel uncomfortable the first time he tries your request, so you’ll be even.
If you don’t have anything specific in mind, well, that’s a hard one too, because you’re asking him creative about something you can’t be creative about. If he can’t come up with anything, you don’t really have a leg to stand on when complaining about it.
So, talk about it, open up. Discuss what you love about foreplay and sex and tell him what not quite so satisfying. Discuss what each of you is willing to do and not do, maybe check out Our Sexploration List resource to jump-start the conversation.
The last possibility is that you have no idea what you want, but your husband has some ideas. He has to feel free to express them, to try them out. Here’s the catch: If you open up the door to this, you cannot slam it in his face if you don’t like what comes through the door. Do not put him down, berate him or making him feel bad about his fantasies/ideas. If he comes back to you with the idea for a threesome, then you need to gently say “I’m sorry, you misunderstood, this is not what I meant. Maybe we need to have a discussion about what we both feel is OK in our marriage.” But if he suggests something that you just think might not be fun (but aren’t morally opposed to), say a blindfold, or handcuffs, or a new position, or (gasp) sex with the lights on, then do not laugh, scream, or yell “NO!” as soon as he brings it up. Try it if you can. If you won’t give it a try, or at least consideration, then don’t ask me how to get him to be creative in bed after you’ve taken his will to be creative away from him. Well, you can ask me if you want, but it’s going to be a lot more uncomfortable than saying yes in the first place. It’s going to involve some serious humble apologizing for your behaviour and abusing the intimacy he shared with you and asking for forgiveness, and he still might take a few years to trust you again.
So, what should you do? Ask, bluntly, openly, and in a loving manner, willing to respond (but perhaps not follow through) on any answer in a gentle manner.
Women: Have you tried this in your marriage?
Men: Would this work for you?
23 thoughts on “How Do I Get My Husband To Be More Creative When Initiating Sex?”
Great encouragement!! I know my husband LOVES it when I suggest different things, or ask him what he wants to try. Being willing to explore each other is so powerfully intimate! We’ve agreed on what God says about sex- anything that we do to please each other that doesn’t bring another person into the bed is fair game! It’s funny to try things that make both of us say “wow, that didn’t work”, LOL!! And it’s a home run when we find things that are surprisingly satisfying. The marriage bed should be a safe playground with God’s fence of protection around it!!
I agree, the marriage bed should be safe to explore as a couple, that’s what being intimate is about, being completely open without the fear of that openness being taken advantage of.
I agree. Honest, straightforward bluntness. I want to do things right myself, so I will ask my husband for his input. And I am not afraid to say “hey, can we try this instead?” Communication!
Yes! Communication is a serious issue in marriages these days. Not the only one, but it is the root of so many issues.
It is definitely our biggest issue in our marriage. For some reason he thinks I can read his mind! Probably because for the most part it seems like I can. But I’m a detective, not a mind reader. I know his body language. If he’s opening a closing every drawer and cabinet in the house, he’s looking for something. If he’s working on a project that uses flat head screws, he’s probably looking for a screwdriver. I’ll silently walk in the room, open a drawer and pull out the flathead screwdriver. But it doesn’t work in every area of our marriage, ESPECIALLY the bedroom. I get such mixed messages. Finally, the other day after laying in bed for an hour and half trying to read his signals I finally asked, “is this just normal morning standing at attention, or are you looking for my (pet word for my bits)?” I still don’t know if he was actually in the mood, but asking him certainly put him in the mood! LOL!
Communication is hard because he has a hard time expressing himself and I have a hard time trusting him not to get upset or overly emotional. We’ve spoken about this and I’ve learned not to take his initial reaction personally. It’s a defense mechanism and he’ll often spout something, but later think on what I said.
I’m also learning how to communicate with him in the bedroom. Gentle, suggestive bluntness. It’s hard, because one time I was brave and asked for something and he complied but was very annoyed and rude about it. And then, when I was doing most of the initiating, he would often turn me down or comply but be miserable about it, so I’m gun shy.
I realized this morning that throughout our marriage a lot of our communication issues came from my insecurities and fears. I made it my mission to “read his mind” through detective work and to self-sacrifice when he wouldn’t be clear. I remember actually shaking in fear and stress because I didn’t know what he wanted, but he wouldn’t tell me clearly. I’d ask him to clarify and he’d blow up. I remember times spending whole days stressing out, trying to make a decision, wondering which one he wants because he wouldn’t be clear. But, I would also block him from being clear by the times I would pride myself in reading his mind and getting it right….never asking his opinion, just guessing.
We’re getting better at not living like this, but it is taking longer in our bedroom.
Wow, that mirrors a lot of my own marriage, but other way around.
My wife isn’t bad at expressing herself, but she thinks while she talks, so it’s sometimes hard to know which is her opinion, because she will say her opinion and then start arguing with herself about what she just said. It can get confusing for me.
On the other hand, she’ll ask me a question, I’ll do the arguing in my head and come back with a simple “Yes”, which leaves her looking at me like “Yes? That’s all your going to say?!”. Of course, then I think she’s upset that I said yes and wonder if I should have said no instead, but in actuality, she’s looking for a longer answer.
Like you, we’re getting better at this as well.
But the bedroom is harder, because your naked, physically and emotionally. The risk is higher and so there is more fear. Of course this compounds any communication issues.
And I completely get being gun shy about bringing stuff up when you’ve been shot down or reacted badly to. I see that come up a lot in many marriages.
Sounds exactly like my experience. Right down to things being better but taking far longer in the bedroom.
I actually just wrote a blog post about communication in the bedroom. 🙂 It is indeed incredibly important!
Glad I added that plugin!
I love this post… and it works both ways. Men should be equally open to sharing what THEY want. Both spouses must agree to come to a place in their relationship where each is willing to listen to what the other wants without judgement.
i think it is important too, to have these discussions when nothing is expected, and when sex is not imminent! It takes away the pressure and any performance anxiety. When it is brought up IN context then, the shock of an idea’s newness will be lessened.
I’ve tossed the idea around in my head about whether or not it’s better to discuss things like this first outside of the bedroom or not. I think it depends on the marriage. For me, I don’t think it would make a difference either way. Discussion outside of the bedroom gives me time to think and plan. Discussion in the bedroom, I’ll be so excited anyways that I don’t think much would shock me and I’d just go for it.
For other people, that would be a huge no, they’d be like deer caught in the headlights. So you have to know your spouse.
Good one, and right on. Hints don’t work with men. We’re a little to thick sculled to understand them. Any the comment on men feeling it is manipulative is right on as well.
Every couple needs to talk about their sexual relationship. For some reason, this is difficult for us to do in our society (not all societies have this problem). However, true sexual satisfaction for both partners can’t happen without true understanding. That requires communication. Nobody is born with a crystal ball, and the Bible tells us not to use them anyway.
I’m afraid I’ve used that tactic earlier in my marriage, of leaving websites open hoping my wife would stumble across it. I don’t do it anymore, but now whenever I leave anything open, she thinks I’m trying to hint at something. And I can’t blame her, I did it to myself and trained her to suspect that sort of behavior.
<3 this. Thank you!
Great read. Jay Dee, I used to leave the browser open to articles I wanted her to read. She just closed that one and openned up one for a new recipe – for the kitchen not the bedroom.
Being open and honest about what each of us want, inside the bedroom and outside, is very important. We are ONE and we should be able to share anything with each other without any fear.
Excellent post! Sometimes a topic that is so important to every married couple needs to be spoken in plain, no holds barred language like you have done here. Thank you for telling it like it is.
My husband and I are very open with each other about what we want. We usually don’t have any problems with the initiating aspect of our sex life. But if there is something I want that we haven’t tried yet or I want him to step it up, I generally start by telling him what he’s doing right, complimenting him, not to butter him up, but because I genuinely enjoy him and his body and want him to know that. He likes it when I boost his ego, and I love doing it. I use that to segue into what I’d like to do different or where I want him to touch. But you’re absolutely right – men don’t do subtle well. Once I’ve started with my compliment and what he’s doing well, I segue in plain, clear language in a gentle, loving manner with a respectful tone and wording. Works well every time!
Hi I’d like my husband to show more initiative FULL STOP! *sighs* I love him so much but he’s so shy in this area. When I first see him it’s fine (we live apart 🙁 ) but then it wanes. We have NO intimacy and to be honest he has some strange ideas that actually make me a bit angry. West African culture (where he’s from) encourages men to have sex dry like there’s something wrong with a woman’s fluids so he has this thing about me being wet when we have sex, he has no clue about female sexuality, the need for intimacy outside of our sexual encounters, my husband doesn’t know how to “talk sexy” to initiate sex. The last time I asked him what turns him on he talked about when “I wash myself well” which really made me mad…I wash every day and he still can’t explain what he meant by that. I told him I simply found him weird because he’s always stuck on this weird thing about washing…even when we first had sex he’d go and take a shower!!! I just don’t know what it all means!! So part of the reason I seem to have suddenly popped up on this website and am commenting everywhere is so that I can inject a bit more romance into our intimacy. We may never get to a place where he’s comfortable with phone sex but at least we can get to a place where he’s comfortable with initiating intimacy outside our bedroom and the covers would be great. I’ve suggested massage and sent him a couple of e-books so hoping we can go from there. 🙂