Although this article is for women, I’m sure some astonished men are looking in, and asking, “What do you mean why you should initiate sex?!” To guys, the answer is completely obvious! It reminds me of that line from the movie City Slickers when Billy Crystal’s character tells his friend, “Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.”
So ladies – why?
Well, the most “obvious” reason is the one guys are thinking of: pleasure! And women think of that too, of course! But I’ve been researching men and women with thousands of surveys for years now, and it is clear that, statistically, although that reason is front and center for most men, it is often not front-of-mind for the busy, tired, distracted wife and mom. In our research about women for For Men Only, in fact, we found that the vast majority of women simply aren’t thinking about sex (and thus the pleasure of sex) all the time, the way most men are. So sex just doesn’t happen as much as it might otherwise.
Which is quite a shame when you think about it!
So ladies, here are three other reasons to get you going:
1. The more you have sex, the more you’ll be thinking about having sex.
It’s all about testosterone. We women have testosterone, too, just not as much as men. And neurologists and other research scientists have found that if you get out of the habit of having sex, your testosterone levels drop and you want it less. But if you have sex at least once a week, your testosterone levels rise and you actually want it more. Although there are certainly exceptions, men’s higher T-levels are why they tend to be thinking about and wanting sex more than their wives.
So if you’re the one with the lower desire, you can improve your libido simply by having sex once a week or more.
Try it! You’ll like it!
2. When you initiate sex, it deeply comforts and affirms your husband.
We women have no clue how much self-doubt men carry around all day. Am I any good at what I do? Does my wife think I’m a good husband? Is my colleague going to figure out that I’m making this up as I go along? Do I measure up as a man? As a dad? Men are far more emotionally vulnerable than we realize.
And I was stunned, when I studied men for For Women Only and my other books, to discover that a man’s most emotionally vulnerable time is when he approaches his wife for intimacy. A man feels like he is shakily extending out his unprotected heart, not knowing whether she will tenderly embrace it or smack it down. Certainly, there are also women who feel vulnerable when they are the ones with the higher libido than their husband. But for the majority of couples, it is the other way around. So when you respond well to your husband’s vulnerable heart, it is deeply comforting. (“She thinks I do measure up.”)
But now go one step further: if you are the one who reaches out now and then, he is not only comforted… he is flying. As one man told me – laughing, but completely in earnest – “The thought is, ‘Not only does she think I measure up – she thinks I’m a stud!’ You have no idea how much that affirms a guy. I may feel like a total imposter in life, but if my wife wants me I can handle anything.”
3. An affirmed husband is a loving husband.
I know we women don’t want to only focus on “what’s in it for me”… but let’s get real about this: what’s in it for us is pretty amazing. When your husband feels desired sexually, he feels like you’re saying he is a good husband, a good dad, a good man. Every day, your man sees so clearly all the ways he doesn’t measure up to what you need – and yet by affirming him sexually you are saying he’s a good man, anyway. He feels like you are saying, sure, he will make mistakes at times, but you’re on his side no matter what.
And as a result, he is so grateful for you. A man who is secure that you love and appreciate him will run through fire for you. He will be softer. More loving. More caring. Because he is more secure. And seriously: who doesn’t want a more loving, caring, attentive husband?
Now, sadly, there are always exceptions to this. There are going to be marriages where it doesn’t work out that way. But statistically, those are truly exceptions. In most cases, a husband who knows his wife wants him, wants most of all to be the man she will always need.
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Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage, and her newest book, Through A Man’s Eyes. A Harvard-trained social researcher and popular speaker, her ﬁndings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.