I get a lot of emails from husbands and wives who get rejected for sex frequently. They often want to know how to initiate better, how to arouse their spouse, how to turn them on and get them interested in sex. However, in a lot of cases, they’re putting the cart before the horse. In many cases, the primary issue isn’t their initiation technique (though they might need help there as well). Rather the first issue to deal with is that they don’t have permission to arouse their spouse.
Now, if you are the higher drive spouse, this post may frustrate you. After all, you can’t make your spouse change, and higher-drive spouses tend to be fairly open to their spouse arousing them. However, as the higher-drive spouse, this post it might help as the starting point of a difficult conversation.
But, regardless of whether you are the high or low drive spouse, the question still stands: Does your spouse have permission to arouse you? Or is that permission regulated by a variety of variables so complex they can never guess whether they have it or not?
Does your spouse “get lucky” or go to bed a loser?
I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten emails with the phrase “if the planets and stars align” with respect to whether a husband or feel “get’s lucky”. That’s their term, not mine. But, it expresses the sentiment aptly. After all, if your spouse doesn’t have permission to turn you on, if there is a complicated set of rules, then managing to hit the right buttons certainly feels like simply getting lucky. It becomes a game of chance, with your heart as the bid, instead of being the intimate experience it should be.
So many people, by wanting everything to be perfect and “romantic” end up destroying the very thing they are looking for. By trying to make it romantic, they turn it into a game of Russian roulette, but with worse odds.
Simplify the rules
What if, instead, you adopted this simple rule: If you can arouse me, I’m yours.
Now, of course, this doesn’t let you ignore things like public indecently laws. But if no one is around, or you’re behind locked doors, if nothing is going to be ruined by a bit of a delay, then what’s the harm in opening yourself up?
I get it, for a lot of people, women especially, it’s very hard to switch gears. What I’m saying here is not to switch gears … only to release the lock on the transmission. Let your spouse worry about helping you to switch gears. Plus, many women find they can be jump-started, if you’ll excuse the continued mechanical analogy. That is: their brain will switch gears to keep up with their body.
So, what does this look like? Well, it means accepting a hug, instead of pushing away. It means not only accepting a kiss, but returning it, passionately, and letting yourself see if it will go somewhere.
What’s stopping you?
I know a lot of low drive spouses have difficulty with this. Your gut reaction is to pull away, to shut it down, to reject your spouse. And I know you can rationalize it away: the kids are awake, it’s light out, I’m not in the mood, whatever. But, take a look and figure out what’s really going on. For some, it might be a fear of sex with the lights on, or rigid thinking that sex (including foreplay) belongs in the bedroom. For some, it might be that rejection has been your first reaction for so long, you just go there out of habit. For others, it might be that you want to control the situation, or that if you go along with sex, that means your husband wins, and by extension, that you lose (though you should be thinking as a team, not as enemies). Whatever your reasons, examine them, and work to rid yourself of them, because they’re holding you back. Instead, open yourself up to your spouse who is trying to express their love.
It might not work. It might be that you just can’t switch gears in that moment, regardless of how hard your spouse tries and how willing you are. But, if you are open to the idea, you might find that it becomes easier. Even if there isn’t time for sex now, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little warmed up now and using that later when there is time. Just because you start to get aroused, doesn’t mean sex needs to happen that instant. So, give it a try. Tell your spouse today that they have a free pass to try and arouse you. Any time they want. Let them know it doesn’t mean it will work, but that you’ll at least not shut them down without giving them a chance.P.S. Just because this is a standing rule, doesn’t mean your spouse should have to work to get you aroused every time. It should be your turn, at least once in a while.
37 Questions for spouses to ask each other about sex
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