I think there’s a myth out there that says that women don’t like sex as much as men. And I honestly have a hard time believing that’s true. What I think is actually happening in most cases is that it takes men a whole lot less to actually feel intimate. What I mean here is that I think men often feel intimate simply by the act of sex. Of course, that’s not the only thing that makes men feel intimate- and women can feel intimate by the act of sex. But I’m not afraid to say that I think our minds work in different ways when it comes to sex and intimacy.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t work the same way my husband does. Intimacy, for me, starts way before sex ever happens. Here are a few tips I’ve gathered that help me feel intimate.
Clear the air
One reason why you may not feel intimate with your hubs is because there’s unresolved conflict in the air. Usually, there’s one of two things we can do about it: let it go, or address it. For me, if it’s something I need to let go, chances are it’s something we’ve already hashed out that I’m still a little bitter about. In this case, my best bet is to spend some time in prayer, thinking about the things that I’m thankful for, and reminding myself that my husband is a human just like me.
Our other option is to get talking. If you’re like me and you have issues that are unresolved, chances are you’ll need to talk about them. Because even if you pretend like you’re over it, in a couple hours you’ll be reminded just how frustrating those issues are.
If Josh and I have an unresolved fight… sure we can have sex. But will I feel intimate? No way.
I might even feel bitter about the fact that he doesn’t know I’m upset and still wants to have sex. The audacity!
The thing is, I need to remind myself time and time again that my husband is not a mind reader. To my surprise, I’m not either. So while, sure, our husbands can and will drop the ball from time to time, we can always do our part by holding them accountable, hashing it out, and showing all the grace we would hope to receive if the tables were reversed.
Watch your timing
While I’m not suggesting that you need to tiptoe around issues or wait until the perfect time to bring them up, bringing them up right before sex just so you can get them off your chest probably isn’t the best idea. Try to resolve issues either in the moment, or when sex isn’t on the table (ok, not literally on the table. You- you know what I mean).
But hey, if you happen to be in the mood after certain issues are resolved, then makeup sex can be great, too!
I’m not going to say that you need to look like you’re about to do a boudoir shoot every time you’re feeling in the mood, but I will say that you should feel sexy.
If I haven’t showered in two days and I know my clothes are covered in snot from sick kids, that’s probably going to be what I’m thinking about as soon as Josh touches me.
Even if it’s just brushing my hair and teeth and changing my clothes, sometimes that’s all it takes to make me feel like I’ve shed the grime of the day away. In a way, putting in a little extra effort helps me to let go of the things that make me feel self-conscious. This way, I’m forgetting about myself and my own insecurities and enjoying time with the person I love.
This can also go further than simply your bedtime routine. How do you feel about yourself and your lifestyle? Do you usually feel confident and sexy after a workout? Make it a priority! Is it hard for you to focus on sex when the house is a mess? Try to take steps towards tidying up (or call the hubs and kids for reinforcements) so your mind is free to be with your hubs in the moment.
If life has you too stressed to be able to focus on anything intimate with your husband at the moment, why not ask for a little time earlier in the day to get away and decompress for a little while.
The key takeaway here is to know yourself. Know what helps you feel present in the moment, confident, sexy, and intimate with your husband. Once you’re able to point out those things, make them a priority in your life so sex comes much more easily and naturally.
Set the tone
Spontaneous sex is great, but let’s be honest, we’re not always going to be in the mood at the same time as the hubs. But even if he doesn’t show it, a soft rejection can still be hurtful. It took me a long time to realize that each time I told Josh, “not tonight” and thought nothing more about it, it went on bothering him for hours. when I thought I was simply asking for some time to decompress and relax, he felt rejected, unloved and unwanted.
When I realized this, it broke my heart! It was never my intention for him to feel that way, I only felt like I just needed some time to myself or I just wasn’t really in the mood. When I was able to empathize with him, it makes so much more sense.
Now, I do my best to mentally prepare myself. I know, “mentally preparing” for sex doesn’t sound that romantic. But it actually does help to free the mind and let go of the other things I *could* be doing instead.
Communicate what makes you feel like having sex
If you’re anything like Josh and I, both of you will get turned on by different things. If I wear a pair of workout leggings, Josh gets turned on. If I sneeze, Josh gets turned on. JUST KIDDING. If I’m living in the moment and laughing and playing with the kids, he loves that!
I mean, I do who doesn’t love someone who loves kids- especially your own.
BUT I typically get turned on by different things.
I feel the most like having sex when I feel loved.
Not simply when I see Josh doing bicep curls at the gym.
When he does the dishes and serves me, I feel loved. When I derp and forget to do something for him and he’s patient and forgives me, I feel loved. When I see him using teachable moments with the kids or just all out being a great dad, I feel his love for our whole family!
So, typically, what makes me feel like having sex is a bit more complex than what makes Josh feel like having sex.
So obviously, we needed to communicate about that.
What is it that makes you feel loved?
My love language is acts of service so, of course, self-sacrifice makes me feel loved. Maybe a small gift or a kind note from your husband would help you to feel loved.
Whatever it is, tell that man of yours! Don’t keep him in the dark simply hoping that he figures it out someday!
Even if everything is relatively peachy between you and your husband, there may still be times when you feel like there’s distance between you both.
With the craziness of life, it can often be hard to simply have a complete conversation each and every day. Especially if, like ours, your daily routine often ends in a Netflix binge before bed.
If that’s the case, try to make time so that you and your husband have time to connect each and every day.
One of the things Josh and I do in our daily routine and his go to the gym. We’ll drop the kids off at childcare and start our work out by walking together around the track. Both of us are at a fitness level where we should be able to do more than simply walk around a track, but this is a regular time where conversations happen for us. There are often times when we spend our entire hour-and-a-half workout simply walking the track and talking.
And we never regret it!
Even if, right after we pick up the kids, life gets crazy again in an instant, we’re both so glad that we had that time to connect and it ripples throughout the rest of our day.
No one in their marriage wants to feel like two ships passing in the sea. Even if you don’t have a gym membership where you can drop off the kids, try to work out your routine so that you have a good conversation with your husband each day. Wake up earlier in the morning, stay up just a little later at night, whatever it takes so that you have time to connect emotionally.
Developing your friendship is key
Overall, it’s not necessarily about how much you talk, it’s about how deep your relationship goes. If you feel like you like spending time with your husband and you can talk about most anything together, chances are, sex will come naturally.
Find ways to spend time together. Cook dinner together, grocery shop together. Workout together. Shower together ;). Your relationship doesn’t have to be a high five on your way to bed each night.
Be the one to initiate
Being really honest here, and Josh is probably the one to initiate sex about 80% of the time. But I do make an effort to try to initiate sex on my own from time to time for the same reason I talked about above. It makes him feel loved!
Initiating sex makes our husbands feel wanted and desired, which to them says, “I love you!”
Enthusiasm is so important when it comes to creating intimacy with our husbands.
Think about what makes you feel loved. For me, it’s acts of service. I won’t feel nearly as loved if I know that Josh is serving me begrudgingly, only because I want him to. Translate that to sex, and the same principle applies. If we’re excited about sex, our husbands take that to mean we’re excited about them! Makes sense to me.
Talk about sex
Now before I wrote this blog, I took a poll on Instagram asking about couples’ struggles when it comes to sex. Most of you said that talking about sex was not awkward which is awesome!
But I can’t let myself believe that no one struggles with talking about sex. It can be a sensitive subject especially if you actually feel like you have something you’d like to bring up. Try to do your best to talk about sex with your husband. Let him know what he does that you like or things that you didn’t like so much. Let him know what helps you feel in the mood. Honestly, sex will only evolve and get better over time if each of you is willing to adapt and grow together. Neither of which will happen unless you’re able to communicate.
Check your mentality
Many women, especially if you grew up in a Christian or religious community, may struggle with the idea that sex is for men. If this is how we view sex, then- guaranteed- it will become a struggle to feel intimate and actually desire to have sex. Sex will feel more like a chore than something we can enjoy.
You may also be struggling with the fact that sex often is one-sided. If that’s the case, I want to encourage you again to try your best to talk about what helps you to feel intimate with your husband.
I really like some of Sheila Gregoire’s tips when it comes to creating intimacy in your marriage.
As much as you can, communicate with your husband and make sex a time that is exciting and enjoyable for both of you. This way, you’ll hopefully be able to see sex as something you get to do rather than have to do.