SWM 106 – April 2023 Anonymous Questions
Today we’re tackling another round of questions from our anonymous Have A Question page. These ten come from April of 2023. As always, these questions get posted to our forum, I let our supporters discuss them for a while, and based on those discussions and my own thoughts and experiences, I answer them in these types of posts.
Here are the questions we got in that month:
Question 1 – Is it okay to take nude pictures and videos of each other?
My wife and I have a very fun and intimate life inside and outside of the bedroom. We’ve been married for 30 years, and I’d say the last 10 years or so, we’ve been on the same page. One thing we have done is take sexual pictures and videos of each other and save them to a folder in the cloud so only we can access them. Is it wrong to look at these and get turned on? She has a responsive drive most of the time and wonders if it’s like looking at porn to get in the mood. We both resist viewing porn and solo maturation, agreeing with your view on those practices.
So what do you think? Good fun idea or not?
Neither I nor anyone else in our supporters’ community could find any issues with it. One wasn’t comfortable with the idea of it being in the cloud, but personally, when I hear of the sheer volume of naked pictures and videos being sent by college kids these days, I think there’s probably a relatively low chance that anyone would be interested in images or videos of my wife and me.
In short, you’re simply using an aid to enhance your memory of your spouse – the person you should focus on. You’re also choosing to wait to satisfy your sexual urges until you’re with your spouse. Honestly, this seems about perfect. I think you did a good job finding something wholesome that got her in the mood. Way to go!
Question 2 – Limon by Minna discount
Do you foresee any discounts for Minna, specifically the Limon coming back again for your readers/listeners?
Yeah, I have a coupon code for the Limon. Use LIMONADE at http://minnalife.com/products/limon for $30 off the price. For those who don’t know, the Limon is an excellent bullet vibe that is waterproof, quiet and has a really interesting squeeze sensor for adjusting the vibrations. But the best part is, it’s a rumbly vibe, not a buzzy vibe, so it’s not annoying.
Question 3 – Asexual wife?
I’ve been listening to your podcast for a while and have a question. My wife says she isn’t turned on by anything. She thinks she might be asexual. We met with a certified sexual therapist and she advised that my wife try reading a book called “REDACTED” which contained a plethora of sexual scenarios, some traditional, some very extreme. My wife said nothing in book was even mildly sexually stimulating. She has also tried listening to wide variety of audiobooks that incorporate romance and sexual scenarios but nothing seems to resonate. Have you encountered this issue before? Are there any books you would recommend that may help?
I wouldn’t recommend books at all. First, you shouldn’t be relying on porn/erotica to illicit a sexual response. That’s a dangerous path to take. I mean, the worst-case scenario is that it works, and now she’s addicted to porn and erotica to have sex which will ultimately make her less satisfied with real-life sex.
You dodged a bullet there by her not responding to it.
If you can manage, I would probably find a new therapist – a Christian one. In the supporters’ community, we all thought a therapist would be more interested in gathering a sexual history, hearing about what she was taught about sex growing up, her views on sex, her feelings about sex, etc. Not jumping to, “Have you tried porn?”
As for her being asexual – asexuality is a symptom of a problem, not an excuse to give up. Figure out why she’s struggling not to be aroused. Does that mean physically or psychologically, or both? Plenty of people feel they don’t get aroused but have no trouble having orgasms, so what they mean is that they don’t feel like they get aroused, but their body obviously does, in which case they’re likely a psychological block involved. Sometimes those blocks can be so strong that they end up with a physiological effect, so they can’t even get physically aroused.
Or, sometimes, there’s strong arousal non-concordance in which your body and mind don’t sync up during arousal as they ideally should.
It’s also quite normal for someone not to get very aroused without the right context. For example, many people can’t get aroused unless it’s with someone they have an emotional bond to. This is sometimes termed demisexual as if it’s a problem. I suppose it is in our society where hookup culture is king, and the goal seems to be to separate sex from a relationship. For Christians, I think this would actually be the ideal state to be in.
Whatever’s going on, I’d try to figure out answers from qualified professionals rather than simply trying another dubious test with another book. If you want a book, though, I’d check out something like Married Sex or Intimacy Ignited and see if they help clear perhaps a psychological block.
Question 4 – Wife loves me, but isn’t in love with me
I’m stuck and close to done with my marriage. I love my wife, but she has told me that “she loves me, but she is not in love with me” among other hurtful things (interested in sex, but not with me). We have not been physically intimate in over 3 years, we don’t even kiss, save an occasional peck when saying goodbye in the morning.
I have never been physically or verbally abusive (yelling or intentionally ugly) to her in our 31 years of marriage. The only reason she has given to me for the loss of her feelings is that I would not engage (stonewall) when we argued early in our marriage. Now we have reversed roles and she is the one that stonewalls. Moreover, she said did not like the way I would apologize at the end of an argument. She has rarely said “I’m sorry” in our marriage.
The only time she “reaches” for me is to hold my hand when we pray at church, but has even refused that when mad at me. Or an emotionless, obligatory hug when saying goodbye in the morning.
She says she does not want a divorce, feels loved by me, and I don’t think infidelity is an issue. She is unwilling to go to counseling.
I did get her to agree to listen to the “Marriage by the Book” Christian podcast. She agreed that we would get together and talk about the episode after we both listened to them. She says she wants to work on our marriage, but she only listens to one, 20-minute podcast every week or so. She listens to them but does not hear, based on our conversations on each episode after we both have listened. She said she thinks she loves me in an agape way.
She is content with a roommate marriage as I support her well, do those things around the house she doesn’t like to do (grocery shopping, cooking, paid maid service) and listen to her when she wants to talk about her job or medical issues (diabetes). She rarely asks about my stuff and loses interest quickly if it does come up.
I am the only one to bring up our relationship. When I do, she is unemotional and has no empathy towards me. She has even said she dreads the conversations.
I have no idea what to do and am close to giving up.
What do I do?
I would love to hear her side of this. Most of the time, when I hear things like this from coaching clients, once I get to talk to the other spouse, you find a lot of details missing, and there’s usually a path forward.
Frankly, I find the “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” to be a cop-out. Something is going on that’s hindering the relationship and as a result, she’s either choosing not to show you love, or struggling to show you love because something has happened to break trust or otherwise make her feel unsafe in the relationship.
So, if she’s willing, let’s book a call and see what’s there.
If she’s not – well, then if you’ve tried everything else, then separate – not divorce, but separate. Show the world the broken state of the marriage. It may be the kick she needs to take you seriously. Or, it may end up with her divorcing you, but you seem like you already have one foot out the door.
It’s your last-ditch attempt to fix things – high risk, high stakes.
Question 5 – Wife isn’t interested in improving our sex life
Thanks so much for the podcast and resources. I’ve been greatly blessed by them.
I’ve found myself growing a lot in understanding myself, and my wife, from your resources and those of other Christian marriage, intimacy, and sex podcasters and writers. But I’m also finding myself in a conundrum. My wife simply doesn’t seem as interested or express as strong of a desire to grow in this area. There are times we will discuss it, and if I take a blogpost or something and put it directly in front of her and really push her to read it, then she will. But, by and large, she has a much greater satisfaction in the status quo in this area of our marriage. As someone not happy with the status quo, I continue to try to learn and press into this, but sometimes I frankly find myself depressed. Whether on your QA posts or others, I catch myself thinking: “Wow, look at that question. It was from a woman who cared and was seeking help. Maybe she struggles in her desire with intimacy, but she’s trying. She’s seeking resources. She wants to grow.”
Obviously I don’t want this. I certainly don’t want to be seeking growth in my marriage and simply envying others. I find myself in moments of discouragement simply thinking that the best way to avoid being hurt in this is just to cave in and keep going for the status quo. We’ve had many (and I mean many) conversations about desire and communication in sex (and we’ve used your Sexploration list and many other things) but keep finding ourselves in the same place—with her wanting the status quo (at least from my perspective) and me wanting growth, but then feeling discouraged that she doesn’t express (or at least act upon) a desire to grow past the initial conversation.
For the record, I’m not talking about doing wildly adventurous sexual acts. The recent issue we had was simply me trying to figure out ways to foster sex lasting more than a few minutes. I’m really trying to follow many of the things you write about (help her warm up so she will enjoy it and be more excited about it, etc) and on my side didn’t feel like a quick several-minute encounter twice a week is fulfilling connection.
I would appreciate any advice. There’s a part of me that feels I am just hurting myself more and more emotionally by continuing to push her to care, learn or grow, because after so many conversations about this through the years it feels like I’m forcing (or begging) someone to love me.
As a second related question, do you think all Christians ought to be growing in this universally? I mean some of this could come down to my wife and I having very different definitions and understandings of what it means to grow in this (I’m sure she would feel she is trying to grow and maybe I need to mature and recognize that even an ounce of growth is growth… but I still don’t feel it). Given that we are having sex and it’s fine, there is a part of me that thinks I should just let it be and stop reading about how to improve our marriage’s sex (because its starting to simply discourage me).
It’s common for men to tend to be the pursuers of improving the physical intimacy in a marriage – not always, but often. You can encourage, support, and make it easier for her to work on it, but ultimately it’s her choice whether or not to.
Should all Christians? Yeah, of course. They should all be working on many things, but I don’t know anyone who is working on everything. Maybe she’s got some other work to do in other areas first – I don’t know.
Change the method. Maybe she’s not interested in reading or listening to them herself. What if you did the reading and listening and had conversations with her instead? She may be more interested in talking to you than listening to someone else. Have the conversation with the intent to understand her better, not to push her to be better.
But I wouldn’t equate her not investing in this on her own to be a measure of whether or not she loves you. That’s not fair. You’re judging her attitude based on your personality, which is a mistake many people make. If you want to judge how much she loves you, you have to ask her what sort of things make you sure someone loves you and then use that as the measuring stick. In the same way, if you want to figure out how loved your spouse feels, you can’t use your measuring stick. You have to use theirs.
More than likely, she’s showing you love in other ways that aren’t on your radar, and you’re showing her love in ways that aren’t hers. It’s also possible that your displays of love end up being the opposite for her and vice versa. For example, a common thing that comes up is that the higher drive spouse will show love by trying to have more and better sex, but the lower drive spouse perceives this as an admonishment that they aren’t good enough as a spouse because they’re not giving you enough or good enough sex. So, your attempt to show her love actually makes her feel unloved.
And yeah, if reading the questions about other people’s marriages is discouraging – then stop. That’s not the intent. It’s there to spark ideas about addressing issues in your marriage – not for you to compare yours with theirs.
But I think the big thing is to change your approach – have more discussions to try and understand her, not to push her. Hopefully, she will do the same for you, and then you each fight to give what the other wants and needs instead of what you want or need.
Question 6 – Wish I married a bigger butt
I’m a married man for over 40 years I love my wife very much she is a cute and very charming woman.
She is not slim and not too fat or tall. I am physically a slim man but dream of a fat and big-butt woman as my wife. I wish I had a taller and bigger butt woman as my wife instead this one.
I really enjoy it when I see a big body woman in the streets or in parties.
How can I get rid of this willingness or tendency?
Typically, spouses will automatically shift their preferences toward what their spouse is. It’s subconscious and requires no effort. In a survey I did, 95% of husbands said that they were more attracted to their wives on the survey date than when they got married. Weight, fitness level, age, and health didn’t matter.
So, I guess that something else is going on here. Given that you say your wife is cute and charming, I think you’re watching porn and a particular category of porn. If you are, the dopamine released from that activity is causing your brain to rewire itself to seek out that sort of woman – because when you see them in porn, it makes your brain get what it wants – dopamine.
Add to that that you’re feeding this temptation by looking for them in the streets, at parties, etc..
How do you get rid of it? Stop feeding those neural pathways. Stop watching porn. Stop looking for them when out and about. Focus on your wife.
Also, recognize that you’re focused on the wrong thing – you’ve reduced the idea of a good partner down to a single body part. Frankly, while looks certainly play a role for many of us in initial interest, the choice for a spouse should be based more on character than physical form. Our bodies will change as we get older, but our character will, by and large, stay the same. Hopefully, it matures, and we’ll grow in the fruit of the spirit, but the underlying pieces of who we are don’t tend to change too much.
Question 7 – Secretly feed her cum
Would it be ok to secretly cum in her food without her even knowing?
No, not unless you had some prior agreement that this was okay. In fact, without that, I’m pretty sure you could be facing sexual assault charges in many jurisdictions if she ever found out you did. Don’t do it.
Question 8 – Husband says my vagina stinks and tastes bad
I need some advice. I recently got married in last 2 years. My husband is older than me and he is my first lover. My husband says that my vagina stinks and tastes bad. I’m so embarrassed about this but I have to agree because I can smell it. But worse is my husband has sex and then wants me to suck his penis and I can smell and taste my juices. What can I do.
First, I’d say go to a doctor and get checked out just in case it’s some sort of infection or other health risk.
Second, it’s quite common for women to taste and smell differently during different times in their cycle. Some times might taste or smell better than others, but it’s pretty rare I hear of a husband who doesn’t like the taste or smell at any stage – just more during or less one or another.
Third, just because he wants you to perform oral sex on him after you have intercourse, it doesn’t mean you have to. You can say no. You can say – not until I get this sorted out. You can say “before sex, but not after”. You have options here.
Question 9 – 50-year-old wife refuses to have sex
I am a 59-year-old married man, and I have the sex drive I had when I was 30. My wife just turned 50. She could never get enough sex when we were young in our marriage. We’ve been together for 23 years and have 4 great kids. A few years ago, my wife kept giving me excuses to not have sex. And then, she told me she wasn’t going to have sex with me unless I got a vasectomy, so I did. Then she said she could sleep in our bed because it was uncomfortable. So I bought a new bed – the one she wanted. Then, finally, about 2 years ago, she told me that we’re never having sex again. And she moved to the couch, and we haven’t had sex since. She will not talk about it or go to counseling. In our sexual relationship, I have always been gentle and made sure that she got what she wanted – made sure that she orgasmed. I don’t masturbate, but my wife likes to make jokes about me masturbating. She thinks it’s funny that I don’t get sex. I do struggle with what to do and not getting any. A priest told me in confession that it’s my right to have sex. What do I do to get sex back in the marriage? Is this common in 50-something marriages? Is this a phase that my wife will break out of? It’s hard for me not to think about other women.
I doubt it’s a phase she’ll break out of if there’s no reason to. She’s likely lost the drive she had, and maybe sex is uncomfortable now, or she’s embarrassed that she doesn’t want it, or she doesn’t know how to deal with the loss of her drive. Those are my guesses, anyway.
So, it would be best if you found a way to talk about it. Try sending her a letter instead of having a conversation directly with her. Write out what you’re perspective is. Let her know you want to have an open dialogue about it, and this shutting you out isn’t okay. I’d try that first.
If you still can’t get through, then you have few options. As with the question earlier in this set, you could do a separation to hit the point home that this is no longer a marriage when one is unilaterally making decisions without even discussion. As I said, it’s a high-risk last-ditch attempt that may end with her leaving you, so try everything else first.
Question 10 – Do we need a counselor?
Wife does not want to try anything new, do we need to see a marriage counselor?
More information is needed to go on. First, I’d have a conversation with her about it. Don’t accuse her, but ask to try to understand her point of view. Then talk about it like adults.
Episode 101 might also be helpful – you could send it to her and ask her what she thinks.
And that’s it for today. If you have a question of your own, you have some options. You can post it anonymously on the website and we’ll talk about it in the forum and post the answers at some point in the future.
If you have a question that’s more urgent or you want to be able to give more feedback on, then I suggest joining the forum as a supporter – even if just for a month to ask you question, be part of discussing it, and then if you want you can leave, or stick around and learn more as we help others in their marriages.
As always, thank you to our many supporters – we have well over 100 now, and whether they give $1/month or $50/month, whether they lurk or engage in endless debates on the forum (we’re in the middle of one about biblical modesty that has over 120 responses back and forth now), whether they agree with everything I say, or challenge me on every single point – I appreciate them all for helping us not only continue with this ministry but improve it.