Here’s a question that’s very important to me, because it’s one that is beginning of something wonderful in a marriage. I’ve gotten it so many times over the years that I wrote an entire course around it.
How do I open up to my spouse sexually? I am Christian and have been raised to be reserved. I am extremely shy and self-conscious about my body. We have been married for 5 years and I still am nervous about him seeing me naked. I began to realize I needed to open up because I am not sexually satisfied and he has been asking me to just take/do what I want. I began trying to open up and I tell myself to trust him. I know he loves me and wants me. I have started to try initiating sex and show him I want him just as much, and I thought I was getting better and opening up, but then he will ask me again to open up as if I haven’t really moved at all. What do I “do”? How do I show him I want sex?
It’s not a short answer. In fact, in my course, Becoming More Sexually Engaged – For Christian Wives, I dedicate about 33,000 words to it. So, this is going to be a very quick run through.
Get comfortable being naked
The start to this is understanding two things:
- That you are beautiful simply because you are God’s creation.
- That your husband finds you attractive, regardless of how you look.
If you look at the Bible, God spends a lot of time devoted to making the places where He dwells beautiful places. He is interested in beauty, in aesthetics. The tabernacle was crafted in exquisite detail by the best craftsman in Israel given, by God, both the passion and the knowledge to do the work to make it as God wanted.
Solomon’s temple, again, was a thing of beauty, renown throughout the known world. It had the best to offer from countries all over.
And now, God dwells in you. That’s not something to be taken lightly. It is one thing to look at your body and say “I need to be a better steward of what God has given me”, but it’s quite another to say “this is not beautiful”. That’s insulting to God.
Secondly, we ran a survey some time ago asking husbands what they thought about their wife. Specifically, how attracted they were, and what was their physical condition compared to when they got married.
96% of men answers that they were as attracted, or more attracted to their wife now compared to before. Many of them answered that their wife was less fit, but that didn’t matter. Attraction is not simply a matter of physical appearance. For the 4%, I would be willing to bet they were about something other than weight gain or changing looks. I’d wager there are relationship issues driving those responses.
My point is, you are beautiful according to God, and according to your husband and those are the only people who will see you when you get naked in your bedroom.
Being naked will be uncomfortable at first, but eventually, you will get used to it. You just have to stick it out through the transition people as it becomes “normal”.
Sex and communication
Talking about sex is difficult. Couples have enough trouble with communication issues in marriage without talking about such an intimate topic. Luckily, the same skills can be used. Learn to develop active listening skills. Remove bad conflict resolution behaviours from your discussions.
Then start adding talking about sex outside of a sexual context. It will be awkward at first, but again, it will become easier with time. If you need a jumping off point, check out our 37 questions cheat sheet.
Then, start working on communicating during sex. You can start simply with vocalizations (moans and groans, as it were), and then move on to words. If you need help with that, we have an introduction to dirty talking that helps you through the stages.
Sometimes spouses think they’re initiating when they’re really not. Often they’re merely making themselves available. That doesn’t count. In the course, there’s a lesson on “How to start initiating sex if you’ve never done it before” that might help. The long and short of it though is to be bold and unsubtle.
Ask your husband what he sees initiation. Ask him what specific actions he’d like you to do to initiate sex. I bet he has an idea in his mind, a fantasy of what he’d love. But, it’s also quite possible he’s afraid to tell you because of what he fears your reaction will be. Let him know that you promise not to get upset and that you will actually give it fair consideration. And then stick with your promise, or else he may never tell you anything again.
One that works for most men is this:
- Walk into the room when he’s already in the bed and leave the lights on – most men are aroused by visuals
- Get undressed while looking him in the eyes – confidence is sexy
- Crawl towards him on the bed – most guys love the site of dangling breasts
- If he’s dressed, pull down his shorts / pants / whatever
- Start giving him a handjob and / or blowjob
It’s pretty simple, but it takes a lot of guts to pull off the first time. But, for the majority of men, it’s a perfect example of initiation (men, tell me if I’m right or wrong in the comments).
If he keeps asking you to open up, it’s probably about one of two things:
- Being more comfortable naked / more willing to let him see you naked
- Sharing sexual thoughts and / or fantasies
Unfortunately, most men haven’t figured out that most women don’t think like them. Men tend to think that because the tend to be driven by spontaneous sexual arousal and often think about sex, that means their wife does too. But, for the majority (not all) of women, they don’t think about sex unless they’re having sex. Even then, they might not be thinking about sex. For many women, it’s difficult to get their minds to focus on sex even while their having sex, let alone at other times.
If that’s you, then you might need to explain that to him a few times. Sometimes it’s hard for men (and some women) to accept that their spouse doesn’t think about having sex with them all the time. It’s a bit of a blow to the ego.
How do you show him you want sex?
Honestly, the simplest way is to say “I want sex.” See, not subtle. If saying “sex” is too daunting, then you can just grab him by the hand and start pulling him towards the bedroom and start taking his clothes off. He’ll get the hint. Again, it’s not a subtle clue.
For most men, basically what you think is too “crude”, “forward” or isn’t “lady-like”, that’s probably what’s going to work best. Most men like a woman who is refined and lady-like in public, and the opposite in private. And if that seems unfair to expect from women, men have the same sort of thing to live up to: to be gentle, meek and humble while still being ambitious, strong and powerful.
It takes practice but isn’t impossible. But, like everything else, it feels awkward at first until it becomes part of life.
I hope that helps. By the way, if you’re interested in checking out the course to dive into this topic in more depth, or our intro to talking dirty, you can use the coupon code OPENUP to get 25% off the price.