Am I normal or do I need help?

My hubby and I have been married for 17 years. We were virgins when we got married at the age of 19. We found out we were pregnant two months after we got married, which was unexpected.

While I was pregnant, my hubby looked at porn for a short time. I will say that he has been honest with me about it. He told me that he only did this for about a year or so. That is still no excuse, I know, but we were young. I did feel that it was my fault that he did it, though.

I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant. I didn’t feel like having sex very much because I didn’t feel good the whole time. He told me, and I knew, that he liked skinny girls. I was when we got married, but the baby really did me in. I didn’t hear about this until probably three or four years after the fact.

So we had that baby, and then another one about two years later, and then another one after that. The third baby had heart issues that caused him to have major surgery four times. When he was in the hospital, we visited every day.

One day we were going to the hospital. My husband told me that we should take the stairs because I needed to start working out more. He said he didn’t want me to gain any more weight. That statement hurt my feelings. He said that if I were to get really big, it would be hard for him to be attracted to me, so he might be tempted to cheat or look at porn again. My hubby always says what is on his mind no matter what, so that is what came out.

I then started to feel bad about myself and to question all the time what was “too big” in his mind. This has actually been on my mind and heart ever since. My husband tells me all the time how much he loves me and how hot I am, but I just can’t believe him. There will always be other women that he finds attractive. What am I going to do or not do that is going to make him act on these feelings? He tells me that I have nothing to worry about, but I can’t bring myself to believe that.

Over the last year, I have lost 30 pounds and have a little more to go. I am starting to like who I am, and he tells me that I am doing a great job. But there is always that little voice in my head telling me otherwise. Over the last six months or so, my husband has told me that he wants more as far as our sex life goes. He feels that there is more out there for us to explore. He has done a ton of research and has found some sites that he likes. They tell him different things about how to “please” your wife in a sexual way. Some of the things I don’t like.

There was a time a little while ago when I was not into oral sex at all. I don’t like the smells, the taste, or anything. He started to research that and proceeded to tell me that I should like it and that I might need to get help. He thinks all women enjoy it and there is usually something wrong when they don’t.

So his research started turning him to all these sites about how to give your wife good oral. He thought it might have been the way he was doing it. Well, his research helped a little bit. It still is not my favorite, but I can feel good.

But he continues to do research on different ways to “please” me. He has, in the past, made me feel like if I don’t like these things, then he is not going to be pleased, and that then he will start thinking about other women. Now he tells me that he only thinks about me.

There are things that I am never going to be comfortable with, and he doesn’t seem to understand that. He thinks that anything sexual between a man and woman is okay and I should like it and be okay with it. I will never be okay with anal. I don’t want to use toys because I feel that toys are for people who are not getting any pleasure from their mate. I don’t really like oral sex, but I will do it anyway.

He has said to me before that he wants to try some of these things and he doesn’t think they are bad. My take on it is why do I need those things. Just because they are out there doesn’t mean they are Biblical. He found this site looking for things to help us. I don’t really want to prove him wrong because I know God made sex between married couples to be the way. I do think that. I just feel that some of the things out there that he thinks are okay are not what God designed for marriage.

I don’t want our sex life to be about how many orgasms he can give me. I don’t want to feel that I have to perform all the time. I want him to do more romance, which he is trying to do. I don’t believe that God made toys! I feel those were made by someone or people to help them feel good without someone else to help them.

I can be a sexual person and let out my inner sex goddess. But, I often feel if I do then there is more expected of me than what I am willing to do. So I need some help. Can someone point out in the Bible where we are told that these things are okay? I am not saying that I am going to be okay with it still. But at least it could help me to understand that my husband is okay doing all this research he has been doing.

I want to know if I need to get help because I am broken, or is it okay for me to feel the way I do? Should my husband accept it and not push it on me? What does God think about sex and all the things that the world says is okay? I want to know if it’s okay for my husband to research these things. Does anyone else feel that some of these things are not actually bad, but something they don’t like either?

My husband has told me some of his fantasies. All of them have to do with either us doing 69 (which I don’t like), or him being able to give me anal sex and me loving it. I can’t live up to those fantasies! Then that makes me feel like he will start thinking about other women doing these things because I won’t. I guess I just need advice.

I don’t want people to tell me, “Well, it’s not in the Bible so it must be okay.” Neither is smoking, but we Christians say it’s wrong and look at people badly for doing it. So please, if you are going to leave a comment, leave one that will help. I don’t want comments about how I should let my husband do anything, or “men need that, so please him and get over your thoughts and feelings.” I want real Godly advice or stories or other women who feel the way I do. How have you dealt with it, or how did you get over it and now are different.

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37 replies
  1. Dale3 says:

    Dear Mammalee2001…
    So many issues that I'm unqualified to speak on…all I can offer is prayers for answers that work for both of you…There are so many great people here that have great insight….I can speak to some of these things, but only after the rest of the community adds their advice…I just know you CAN get past these issues , though it may seem impossible now…You're in the right place, believe me !!! Dale3

  2. Tangosierra says:

    We, like most couples, have dealt with this too. I don't think you're wrong, but at the same time, I'm not sure your husband is. I would sit down and try to work out why you feel the way you do. Be objective. Be honest. Do you have a bad experience with oral sex? Anal sex? Do you feel like "good girls" would never do those things? Do you have a strong negative reaction, or is it something you can work on to please your husband.
    Your husband also has to come to terms with what your limits are. I would suggest the same things for him to do too. Does he want those things because he likes porn? Does he want his own porn star for a wife? Etc.
    Maybe try versions of role play that you are comfortable with and work your way up. Kind of like the frog in the boiling water scenario. Maybe try masturbating to a fantasy of you letting loose completely with your husband, to create positive thoughts about it in your head.
    I can feel the rawness in your writing. I think you love your husband and he loves you. The question is, will you let this destroy your marriage. Or can you and he work together, with God, to beat it and come together the way He intended. Good luck. We will be praying for you.

  3. Harper Shelby Thornton says:

    Your husband was being brutally honest, but he shouldn't have said those hurtful things. But I'm wanting to be brutally honest now, and hopefully help

    Now I'll flat out tell you, that the idea that God isn't ok with MARRIED couples doing certain things, is absolute garbage! You're MARRIED for goodness sake! Anything goes as long as it's just you two. NOWHERE does it say in the Bible that we can't use toys. I don't personally, but I don't judge those who do. Same with anal. But the Bible doesn't say what married couples can or can't do in bed, those are MAN'S ideas, and those who say that have NO scriptural leg to stand on whatsoever. Remember the part where the Bible says "the bed undefiled", I take that to mean the opposite of that, thus to mean that anything goes, just as long as you don't involve other people or something like that. If it's only you two it's fine. And furthermore, many woman CAN'T orgasm from intercourse, so if oral isn't ok either, what's a woman supposed to do?

    I believe you do need help, to be freer sexually, and I believe this is probably why your husband looks at porn. Of course that's his choice that he's making, but the uptight attitude isn't helping your case, dear. You say, "you don't like this you don't like that", with all due respect I think I see the problem here.You're not to deny your husband sex (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) However I don't believe you're required to submit to having anal, i think that's "exit only" if you catch my drift. That said, you need to let yourself go. Sometimes, even if we don't like something we do it sacrificially because we love. I don't like orchids, but I don't get mad that my husband has them because I love him and that means loving all of him, flaws & all. Christ didn't have to die a painful crucifixion, but He did because He loves us. I don't believe your husband is wrong for researching, since he wants to please you. That's good on his part

    You asked what God thinks about sex, well GOD MADE SEX! Did you know that? God made us able to receive pleasure from it too. God's not a prude, dear. And His Word does NOT place ANY restrictions so your imagination is the limit. Read the Song of Solomon for further reassurance. Hope this was of at least some help. God bless

  4. PacMan says:

    I don’t know where to begin. If I must be honest, the tone of this is a bit disturbing. It’s like the Conservative Reluctant Wife versus the Liberal Experimental Husband. And you are wanting to know who is right and who is wrong. Life is full of grays… there are areas where you are each both right and wrong. And then we are being told how we should or shouldn’t comment? My ONLY advice is that the two of you should run (not walk) to marriage counseling. And I highly recommend a quality psychologist (not a church/Bible counselor). It sounds like you guys have a lot of honesty (very good), but also struggling with empathy (both parties). I think the issues run far deeper than what this forum can solve.

  5. HeSaid-SheSaid says:

    You ask a lot of questions that will take more than this comment section to answer. I think you and your husband both have things your are right and wrong about. So my first suggestion is to get some coaching or counselling for the both of you for these matters. Secondly, there are some godly podcasts out there that give excellent info on these topics you mention, the one we listen to on a regular basis is Sexy Marriage Radio. Belah Rose is another Christian lady with a great podcast for women.

    You are not alone in how you feel. When I read what you wrote, I swear my wife could have wrote it. I think some of what you feel and believe is ok, and some of it you are off base. My wife doesn't like sex toys either and believes pleasure should come from me alone. Well I'm sorry, but that can't always happen and is difficult due to physical limitations on both me and my wife. I prefer to call a "sex toy" a "marital aid", and many people have experienced deeper connection and intimacy using them. Sometimes we just need to throw stigmas to the side in order to love our spouse.

    I recently read about a woman who had poor self image in her teenage years in regards to her genitals, and as a result was turned off from giving and receiving oral. She has since changed her thinking about her genitals to have a healthy mindset about them, but the damage has been done and she still doesn't like oral. Had she had a healthy mindset to begin with, she likely would have enjoyed oral from the start.

    I picked something up when you said, "Neither is smoking, but we Christians say it’s wrong and look at people badly for doing it." While I don't like smoking, I won't say that it is wrong, and I most certainly will not look at someone badly for doing it, that would be having a judging attitude. Instead I would ask the question "Is it beneficial?". So you and your husband could discuss the "benefits" or lack thereof in regards to the issues you mention.

    Lastly, I know of a woman who hated oral, and also had very strong opinions about how she viewed and treated her husband, and the marriage was falling apart. After coming to the end of her rope, she decided to change her thinking on a number of beliefs about marriage (including oral). Through research and study and striving to honor her husband in a godly way she's enjoys a vibrant marriage today, and she came to absolutely LOVE giving oral to her husband, even to the point of craving it. So yes, I do believe people can be transformed by the "renewing of their minds" and cutting away myth and misconceptions. I think Satan is a master at getting Christians to believe certain things are wrong in marriage when they really aren't, thus causing stress and strife. Kick him to the side and search for truth. Am praying for you and your husband. Thanks for sharing.

    • CMLove says:

      Well said, Brother. If MH had a way we could "like" other people's comments, I would double click it here. Thank you for your wisdom. God be praised!

  6. LovingHusband4Her says:

    I have struggled in the past with porn addiction. It makes you more advance and weaker in some ways. Sometimes you can’t have sex the way your supposed to because of it. What I mean by that is…sex is a one-on-one thing with your spouse, your desires are supposed to be rooted in each other. Porn distracts that. Makes it difficult to get in sync sexually. Porn definitely makes arousal difficult. Sexual images flash in your mind and it’s not right.

    It is good that y’all are talking about this. There needs to be more discussion about this. There is nothing wrong with you. My wife doesn’t want 69 or anal. She still thinks I’m a sex hunk. Anal and 69 is not a requirement by any means.

    I would argue you both might need marriage counseling on this. Sex in marriage is the way God intended it. However, a man is supposed to love a wife more than himself. These fantasies and standards sound a bit petty to me.

  7. Stag-on-a-hill says:

    Hi, thanks for being willing to post on here. Your story sounds a lot like how my marriage was for many years. We very much loved each other but I found her very inhibited, with a lot of fear, shame and judging attitudes.

    On the other hand, in my desperation to see things change I said some silly and hurtful things that I now regret and I was in danger of making sex an idol.

    However, we really loved each other, and over the decades we have grown in our understanding of the gospel of grace. She has really loosened up and now enjoys all kinds of things with me – not oral, anal and sex toys… yet… she is still uncomfortable with these – but we do many, many other things and she is willing to try oral – so we will see!! – and she now enjoys that I am a highly sexual man, she now sees that as a gift from God not a threat. Better that than a man who isn’t interested in sex!

    I, on the other hand, have become more wise in how I encourage her and how I seek what I want – and I am much more content with whatever she is able to give. And we are better at communicating.

    Also, I have realised that the main thing I want is a wife who is generous with her body with me and is highly involved and active when we make love. The actual sexual practices don’t matter so much as that she is really into me and into sex – she can express that in her own way.

    The only other thing I’d add is that we both look back and wonder what might have been, had she been freer and me wiser 3 decades ago!

    • CMLove says:

      Thank you for sharing, Stag-on-a-hill! This is such an answer to prayer! When I first came to MH, I began praying for you and your wife; I think it was about four years ago. I'm so glad to hear God has changed and is continuing to change both your hearts concerning sex. I really am near tears over here. God is so gracious and kind. And powerful. And good. Haha! May He continue to bless you and your dear wife!

  8. CrazyHappyLoved says:

    I'm just gonna throw these two thoughts out there: Normal doesn't equal godly, nor does it mean you don't need help. "Help" is for those who are in need of a fresh perspective, new ideas for how to resolve old problems and disagreements. It's for finding solutions, not "fixing the broken spouse." I respectfully disagree with the commenter above who advised against a Christian counsellor, but I do suggest researching to find a sex-positive one.

    The thing that saddens me most about your post is that the focus seems to be more on what (or who) is right or wrong, and less on how best to honor and love one another. Each of you seems focused on your own preferences.

    If it helps at all, I had the same self-doubts about my weight and held absolutely every conviction you mention as your own at one time except the aversion to giving him oral attention; I've always loved that. (This was after leaving a swinging lifestyle. My life did a 180, and everything I'd once enjoyed in a sinful way I still associated with that sin – be it toys, anal, oral on me, even seeking my own orgasms at all.) And, like yours, my husband put much research into learning new ways to please me, new techniques to bring me to orgasm, hoping to reawaken my drive for him.

    What I didn't see was that vilifying the ways I had – that God had created for me – to be able to please him was, in a way, judging him. I was condemning him in my mind for desiring things *with me* that God had NOT condemned and using my own (and other's) interpretation of "what God would like or dislike because…" as justification for that.

    You ask what I did to change, and the answer is, nothing. I was blessed to have a husband who, every time I shrunk from a "new" experience, reassured me that he loves me just the way I am and only wants my pleasure (despite the fact that I was not honoring him in the same way.) I had to decide to believe it, even though once he had considered leaving me (worse than looking at porn, in my opinion, but a consequence of the sin we had chosen.) And one day, I just *wanted* to express my love by giving him a special sexual treat, the way he had expressed his with patient commitment to me and our marriage. His overwhelming thankfulness and extreme pleasure in that instance opened the door for me to tentatively test more novel ways to enjoy one another.

    By all means, pray and listen to the Holy Spirit. Share your convictions with your husband and that it would hurt you to act against your conscience and convictions at this time. But don't leave it there: keep praying and reading the Word *yourself*. Ask God for wisdom to understand not only what is permissable but what "builds up" your husband and your marriage, remembering His stated purposes for the institution. He will not fail to give it.

    Praying with and for you both.

    • CMLove says:

      What a beautiful response, CrazyHappyLoved. Again, if MH had a way we could "like" other people's comments, I'd double click yours. You're such a dear sister in Christ and I love reading your comments on this site. Thank you for sharing your life with me/us!

  9. PatientPassion says:

    To preface this, I have never been married, so take my advice with a grain of salt. However, in preparing for my future wife, I have studied the relationships and advice of married couples here on MarriageHeat and from other sources. From those couples, and more importantly from the Bible, I've learned certain principles for marriage and sex, and I hope I can convey a few of them to you.

    To quickly address the issue about weight: I believe spouses should accept each other for who they are, but also kindly encourage each other to be better every day. Of course, your husband probably needs to work on doing that encouragement in a kinder way. However, remember that just while he may want you to improve in a certain way, he has said that he already finds you highly attractive and lovable as you are. Plus, it sounds like you've made great improvements, so congratulations, and keep up the good work!

    Now about the sexual hangups. To state my position up front, I believe anything sexual that is safe, consensual and between a married man and woman is okay. However, there is a key point within the "consent" requirement: even if a certain sex act is biblically acceptable, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LIKE IT. For example, scuba diving and hang gliding are mostly safe and not morally or biblically wrong, but I'm personally still not very interested in those activities. There is a vast range of things that are acceptable, but YOU get to choose what to do, and you don't have to be interested in all of them. With that principle in place, let's address the hangups.

    First, it sounds like you aren't very interested in oral sex, but will do it once in a while anyway. I think that's common. Some women love oral sex, both giving and receiving, but some don't, and it comes down to personal preference. If you don't like it, you don't have to do it. However, if it really pleases your husband, I would humbly suggest you find ways to lovingly serve him in that way. I believe in some cases you can train yourself to actually enjoy it, as noted by other commenters! I'm not an expert in how to do that, but where there's a will, there's a way! Maybe start by, if possible, eliminating the things that make it unenjoyable for you. For example, you mentioned the taste and smell associated with oral sex make you dislike it, which is very understandable! What if you could eliminate that problem? Perhaps try it immediately after a shower, when everything is extra clean. Even if you still don't enjoy it, that could make it more bearable for you and still be a pleasurable blessing to your husband!

    Next, you seem to think toys are for those who can't get pleasure from their spouse. I think you developed an unnecessarily negative view of sex toys. I'm sure there are dozens of couples on this site who can confirm that they use sex toys regularly, but would still have amazing sex without them! And yes, God didn't make sex toys, but God didn't make cars or microwave ovens or golf clubs either! God gave us ingenuity, then we invented those things, but we don't shun them just because "God didn't make them." They are tools to enhance our lives. Sex toys are just like these other inventions and tools: they are neither bad nor good, but they can be used to enhance our lives, and in this case, the pleasure between spouses. There is definitely a good and healthy way to incorporate sex toys into your married sex life!

    As for the last hangup, you seem repulsed by anal play, and you think it is probably unbiblical. This is understandable, and it's a hangup for many people. However, I want to allay those fears and tell you it's not at all what you think! There is an article I wrote here on MarriageHeat about the subject.

    [Editor's Note: https://marriageheat.com/2018/06/15/anal-play-in-christian-marriage/ ]

    To summarize it briefly: I am not a pastor or biblical scholar, but I quite strongly believe that nothing in the Bible prohibits anal sex. (For the smoking example, keep in mind: just because some Christians THINK it's sinful, that doesn't mean it actually is. As flawed human beings, we are notorious for making inaccurate assumptions! We need to read what the Bible actually says.) Anal play can be pleasurable too! In recent months, there have been stories on MarriageHeat from several couples who tried it 10, 15 or 20 years into their marriage, thoroughly enjoyed it, and wished they had tried it earlier! I go through all of this in my article: why it's acceptable, and the basics of how to make it safe, clean, and pleasurable. As I said before, sex is very much about personal preference, so even if it's acceptable, you don't have to do it if you don't really like it!

    You also ask "Why do we need these things?" Well, to my example earlier, why do we need cars or microwave ovens? Our ancestors lived without them for thousands of years, so obviously we don't need them. The same goes for new positions, techniques or anything else for sex. We DON'T need them! But just because we don't NEED them, that doesn't mean we shouldn't have them! They can still be good and vastly enhance our lives! And yes, just because things are out there doesn't mean they're right or biblical, but don't just assume they are unbiblical! Do some reading and biblical research, and find out what the Bible actually says (or doesn't say) instead of operating on old assumptions! It will give you a whole new kind of freedom.

    Now, as for how God designed marriage and sex: God designed sex to be a straightforward, simple act, and he created it perfect and "good" with the rest of his creation. That doesn't mean that ANY change to it is bad! For example, God has brought billions of people into existence, many of them with huge physical differences, but they're all still made according to his design, in his image. People are different heights and speak differently, but they're still people! Sex is the same way! One couple may like to share oral sex, another may not, but I believe they're both forms of sexual intimacy within God's design! He built in room for variation and different kinds of sex, lovemaking and pleasure so that we can choose for ourselves how we like it best! I believe these variations extend endlessly, bound only by the requirements that they be safe, consensual and within the bond of marriage.

    On another topic, it sounds like when your husband does research, he thinks you should like certain things he discovers, but you don't. Can you try to explain to him why you don't like it? This might not be possible at first. Many times we like or dislike something and we can't exactly tell why, but as you think about it, answers will come, and he might be more understanding.

    Another step I would suggest is to do some research of your own. Look for information and ideas online (without getting into porn or other shady areas) and see what you think you would like, or what turns you on. That way when your husband suggests something you don't like, you can say, "I'm not up for trying that right now, but here is something else I WOULD like to try with you…" This way, instead of getting only resistance, he would see that his wife is open to trying something new, even if it's not what he was originally thinking. Balancing negative feedback (disinterest in a certain sexual idea) with positive feedback (interest in a different sexual idea) may be a good strategy to explore new things, help you to grow, and also keep your husband happy all at the same time!

    To address your last points, don't just give in to your husband's desires, but be understanding and sensitive to the things he wants. Be willing to try new things, even if you explore them very cautiously and slowly. Ask him to be respectful of your wishes and limitations too! He should realize that you don't like all the things he proposes, and that he should introduce you to them slowly and gently. He should not expect you to try or like everything he wants, and accept your answer if you say no. You should respect and serve him, but just as importantly, he should respect and serve you. It's all a balance.

    Finally, it sounds like you don't fully trust your husband in certain ways: you don't fully believe him when he says he finds you attractive, and at times you suspect he may return to porn. I would recommend you both see a good marriage counselor who is open to working on sexual issues. Don't feel like you're broken, though! Marriage counseling isn't just for people in crisis situations, it's also for normal people who need to do basic maintenance on their marriage!

    In closing, you will likely have to do some biblical reevaluation on what you believe is right and wrong, and there will be some trust and communication issues to work on. However, if you can restore this trust and open up your communication, I believe you will have a very bright future and flourishing sex life that you both are very satisfied with.

    I pray God heals and blesses your marriage, and shapes it according to his perfect plan!

    • christianwoman98 says:

      @PatientPassion,
      Just out of curiosity, what is your view on how far you should push your wife to do things? How forceful do you think men are allowed to get?

    • PatientPassion says:

      Thanks for the question, christianwoman98! It gave me the opportunity to think through my beliefs in more detail. Once again, these are just my thoughts, and someone with more experience or biblical expertise may do a better job.

      I think the question is not how FAR a husband can or should push, but how HARD. As I've made clear, I believe there's a wide variety of kinds of sex that are acceptable, but the way one spouse (often the husband) pushes for more of that variety should be properly balanced.

      The general principle I would work by is summed up in Colissians 3:19: "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. (ESV)" Ephesians 5:25 goes a little further and says "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (ESV)" From this, we understand that husbands should be loving, gentle and sacrificial with their wives. I believe they should reserve forcefulness or firmness for when something is causing or could cause a serious problem, and even then, use it as sparingly as possible.

      Here's an example to illustrate my interpretation of this principle: if a husband suggests something new and the wife refuses or is resistant, the husband might react with frustration, blaming or even anger. From my point of view, raised voices, passive-aggressive behavior or worse negative reactions are over the line. As with other areas of marriage and life in general, clear, calm communication can be a much better solution. If the wife is resistant to an idea, the husband should understandingly ask about her concerns and fears and if there's anything he can do to ease those fears and change her mind. This works in reverse as well if the wife is the one presenting the idea.

      I'd suggest that one strategy for peaceful encouragement, change and growth is proposing a trade. If the husband wants something sexually (or in any other area), especially if it primarily benefits him, he should offer something to his wife in return. If she has a lower sex drive than him, but he wants her to grow sexually, he could ask her to work on that (and help her), and at the same time offer to work on himself to grow in an area that she would like to see. This may seem transactional and unsacrificial, but I see it as a way to start and perpetuate a pattern of loving service between spouses, with them both working to be better for each other.

      I can't speak to every situation, but I do believe that praying and trying to apply biblical principles is the best way to go no matter what the circumstances are.

      Also, while forcefulness should not be used as a method of coercion, as long as it's agreed to and safely moderated, I think forcefulness can make sex a bit more interesting from time to time. 😉

    • christianwoman98 says:

      @PatientPassion,

      Thank you very much for your response. I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I do have one more question. Do you think that it is appropriate to act on the principle that your body also belongs to your spouse? For example, a wife may feel that her and her husband have a very close marital relationship, as they should, and so her husband essentially has free reign with her body. So aside from moments where he chooses to ask for her permission for safety reasons, he doesn’t necessarily ask for consent to do anything. I ask this because in today’s culture consent is such a huge issue that most of the women I know would flip if their spouse thought they held any type of possession of their body.

      [From the Editors: While this question is somewhat germaine to the original post, it might be better submitted as a separate "advice needed" post to the community. Or, if you like, you could submit your opinion in the matter as an "advice offered" post and get feedback in the comments.]

    • PatientPassion says:

      I agree with the editors this may be a discussion for a separate post. I'll respond briefly, again not claiming any authority for my perspective.

      This concept comes from 1 Corinthians 7:4: "For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does." In my view, this does not indicate a broad, "ownership of property" kind of authority. I quoted Ephesians 5:25 in my previous comment, which says "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them." Treating one's spouse as property without concern for their wishes would be violating the commandment of Eph. 5:25, so 1 Cor. 7:4 must be narrower in scope than the plain text might indicate. I believe the main point comes into view in verse 5 which says "Do not deprive one another…"

      I hesitate to contort or stretch what is written, but given the limitation imposed by Eph. 5:25, it seems 1 Cor. 7:4 is not an allowance of exercise of authority. Rather, it is more of a pointed illustration and reminder to both spouses of their obligations to one another. That illustration is followed by the actual command in verse 5, which tells us "Do not deprive each other" and NOT "take for yourself if necessary."

      Together, 1 Cor. 7:4-5 and Eph. 5:25 tell me that it is wrong for one spouse to withhold marital rights from the other, but it is still a violation of other commandments for the deprived spouse to take those rights by force. As for consent, I believe marriage itself is a general grant of consent, but each spouse should of course lovingly honor the other's wishes if they don't want sex at a given time for whatever reason.

      To keep this short, I would redirect you to an excellent summary of the issue from Pastor John Piper titled "Sexual Intimacy and the Rights over a Spouse's Body in Marriage" from April 29, 2009, accessible by a simple Google search.

      I hope that gives you some insight into my layman's perspective! (I'm also a little curious why you would want to ask me rather than someone with marriage experience!)

    • christianwoman98 says:

      I’m sorry if I wasn’t supposed to ask this question here. I haven’t participated in any type of comments on this site before, and don’t completely know how it works. I kind of figured a whole other post might be more hassle for the administrators who have to put in the work of editing and publishing the posts. I didn’t mean to bother anybody, but thank you for still posting my question.

    • PatientPassion says:

      No worries, you're fine! It's great to ask questions, I'm sure lots of people in the community are willing to answer! I think the administrators prefer to keep the comments roughly on the topic of the main post, which makes sense, but you can still ask questions. They actually post questions or advice requests from readers pretty routinely, so don't hesitate to make a submission if you have other important questions on your mind! 🙂

    • mamalee2001 says:

      So patientpassion I will say this is my favorite post on here so far and thank you for taking time to write on here. Your words and encouragement being a single fellow believer really touched my heart for some reason. I needed to hear what you said. I wish you were a real life friend lol.. again thank you

    • PatientPassion says:

      @mamalee2001 I didn't see your comment until now, but I'm so glad I could help! I love thinking and writing about lots of different ideas, including biblical sexuality, so it was actually fun for me. I've gathered a decent amount of knowledge in this area, but I'm still pleasantly surprised and praise God that I was able to give you something useful without having any professional or marital experience!

      I'm frequently here on MarriageHeat reading and writing, so I'm always available to discuss things more! 🙂

  10. TPC says:

    Mamalee2001,
    Great question. I agree with several others that Crazy Happy Loved shares some excellent wisdom. As a husband, my additional thought is that it would be good to consider the differences between bibical commands (positive & negative) and your personal convictions. Scriptures has many positive and negative commands about sexuality. Positive – Husbands and Wives should have sex unless they agree for a short period of time to pray instead. Negative – Don't have sex outside of marriage. Scripture does not give commands about sexual positions, toys, etc. Scripture does beautifully illustrate sexuality between a husband and wife in the Song of Solomon but that text does not give do's and don'ts in terms of sexual positions, toys etc. As a result it looks like you and your husband are in a position, like we all are, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Open honest discussion, praying together, researching scripture together, meeting with a sex positive Christian counselor all seem like good tools in the tool bag to help you and your husband move forward in love. Blessings – JM

  11. txboy says:

    I don't usually comment but I felt led to add to what has been said. I am a pastor and have been married for 30 years. My wife is a survivor of child abuse which has led to PTSD and other issues including in our "bedroom" and her being much over weight for the last 20 years. We have gone through a lot over the years and a good portion of it regarding our sex life. Yes, there is hope. It will take time and commitment from both you and your husband.
    It would be easy to say "you are right, he is wrong" or "give him what he wants" From the limited info I got from your post it is MUCH more complicated that that and more than a single post can provide a solution for you. But I will give you my insight and opinion for what it is worth.
    First, I would recommend counseling for both of you. Look for a good Christian-based counselor who specializes in marriage counseling. Be cautious of any counselor who TELLS you what you should do and how you should act. A good counselor is more of a guide to help you arrive at a decision.
    Second, your husband's reliance upon porn is not healthy. It feeds his imagination for what he can't have. It also goes against being content and thankful for what he does have, as does being obsessed with fantasies that are not likely to be fulfilled with you. I struggled with this for several years when we has sex once a month or less. The more I dwelled on my unfulfilled fantasies, the less content I was with our sex life and longed for what I didn't have. And when we had sex it was less satisfying because I didn't get what my fantasies desired. I learned it is ok to fantasize a little, to want a little different but I need to be content and thankful for what I do have (this is Biblical for life in general).
    Third, your husband shouldn't force you or coerce you to do something you feel uncomfortable doing. And he should not put you on a guilt trip for not performing as his fantasies or porn expectations dictate.
    Fourth, it is one thing to encourage your spouse to exercise, lose weight and show concern for their health but it is another to insult or disparage them so they conform to expectations. I will leave this here.
    Fifth, At your closing you set rules on the comments. While I agree those comments would not have been helpful you did give a tone that you want affirmation of your position. There is nothing wrong with you for liking what you like and not liking what you don't, but you do give a sense that you are not open to compromise or exploring things that both you and your husband would enjoy. Compromise does not mean doing things you really don't like but it is considering things you may not really care for. See the difference?
    Closing, marriage is like a dance. Even in the "bedroom." Someone is leading and the other is following. The one leading cannot lead where the other is not willing to follow. And the one following must be willing to go where the other leads. It is a lot of communication, compromise, understanding, patience, commitment and love. And when husband and wife "dance" in sync it is beautiful.
    Grace and Peace

  12. willinghusband says:

    mamalee2001, I can say that your husband and I are a lot alike, and you are probably where my wife was years ago in regards to some of the sexual items you listed. My wife and I have faced many of the same conversations and difficulties. And, honestly, I have put pressure on her in the past similar to what you probably feel now. So, I'll give our experiences and how we worked through these things.

    1. My wife has learned, part way, to be thankful that I do care about fulfilling her sexually. I think that is what your husband may be struggling with. He feels something is missing. It may be from previous porn use. An example: My wife is not a big moaner/screamer. I often felt something was wrong with me for her not being that way. Your husband may be feeling something similar based on your reactions in bed. I think this is an area to sit down and have a discussion. Does he feel he is not fulfilling you? Does he know what it takes to fulfill you?

    2. Also, I get your husband's desire to give you multiples. For some men, they are only concerned about their orgasm. But for many of us, getting our wife off brings us more pleasure. My wife is like you though: She doesn't care to have multiples every single time. She knows my desire and how it makes me feel. I know how she feels. Our compromise is that at least once a month, and sometimes more, we'll spend more time making love (not just intercourse) so I can give her multiples. But, all of the rest of the time I don't push for it. This has worked well for us.

    3. Regarding toys, the question is, can you orgasm without them? Your quotes about "feel that toys are for people who are not getting any pleasure from their mate" and "feel those were made by someone or people to help them feel good without someone else to help them" are not necessarily accurate. My wife receives pleasure from intercourse, but not enough for orgasm (the result of 3 births). In fact, in the last forever, she has only had one orgasm from vaginal stimulation, and it was from my fingers. She uses a toy so we can "cum" together. If you are not orgasming from intercourse, that may be why your husband wants to consider using them. Or, maybe he just wants to watch you pleasure yourself, or him pleasure you. I get that. However, if this is a hard "no" for you, he needs to realize this.

    4. Where in the Bible does it say these things are okay? One of my Bible class instructors said it this way: If God felt it was important to His story, He wrote it. If not, it is not that important.

    God wrote very little about sex between husband and wife as far as what is right and wrong. Song of Solomon has a lot in there that is very geared towards the intimate relationship between a husband and wife. But, outside of that, there is not a lot written. I believe God wants us to have complete freedom in this area to please and be pleased. I don't think there is anything necessarily wrong with your husband looking for ways to enhance your pleasure. I don't think there is anything necessarily wrong with you having your boundaries either.

    Here's how my wife and I have worked through much of the same:

    1. We'll try (almost) anything twice. We still have our hard boundaries (i.e. anal penetration is off the table, and we're both good with that).

    2. We set aside nights where we specifically focus on the pleasures of the other.

    3. We set aside nights to just lose ourselves in passion with each other.

    4. We're intentional about meeting the non-sexual needs as well.

    5. We discuss. What we are learning is when we wait too long to discuss, it is usually too late and turns into a fight.

  13. RMD says:

    I can hear your heart in your question. So many things have already been answered very well. I just want to add a few things that underly what you are asking and the problems you face. I'm a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in private practice, and I've been a follower of Jesus for 46 years. Most of my clients are married couples and almost all have sexual problems. The bedroom is a good measure of the depth of connection in marriage. Sex is a gift from our Father. In fact the only book in the Bible about marriage is Song of Solomon, and it is all about sex and emotional connection in marriage. In the original language in which God gave it, the words are so graphic and plain that one commentator said that only medical workers should read a literal translation! He was wrong; the Holy Spirit wrote it for us all, and it is very graphic.

    That is God – it is his heart and love for us that gave us the capacity for sexual ecstasy and connection. To refuse to use his gift is wrong and really harmful to us. Sex builds connection, that is the meaning of the term "making love;" it is creating and deepening our love for each other. How much is permitted? God does not give every possible sexual act in the Bible, although he does mention oral sex several times in Song of Solomon – 2:4 is an example. God does give principles that govern every area of life including our sex life. You know 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 on love. Put your name in the place of the word 'love', and ask yourself if that is true in your sexual relationship with your husband; and yes, he should do this too. That is the measure of our love for each other. It goes beyond what is ok and not ok, or what you like or don't like, or what he wants but you don't.

    We must relate to God as he is – our Father who loves us passionately. His heart is always for us, and his gifts are so that we can live a life to the full. Rather than worry about rules and prohibitions, live in his love for you and let that love flow to your husband. If you do this, what you like or don't like will not be the question. The question will be, "What is the best way I can love my husband in the way God made him?"

    It sounds like your husband is lonely emotionally and feeling disconnected. Studying sites to find how best to please you and how to make you marriage better is noble, and so many of my clients would love to have a husband who did that. But it also says to me that he is trying desperately to find a way to connect with you in the way that men connect primarily – through sex. I have yet to meet a man in my office who cares about a flat stomach or being skinny. Men want softness; there is nothing erotic about hugging a muscle at night. But what they also want is a woman who is fully alive to life, to all her senses, and to sexuality. That is the allure of porn. It is a pseudo connection with a pretend woman who is always wanting to make love with you in the most passionate way. It is acting and fake, but it is also what men long for – to be loved, wanted, desired, and sexually pursued. The many clients whom I have had who struggle with porn, Christian or not, are all looking for connection because they are so disconnected at home emotionally and sexually. They may be having sex, but they are not making love.

    You cannot be the keeper of the bedroom so that what you say goes, and when you say sex is ok, then and then only will it happen. That may be too strong a description, but that is how he feels. I'm 63, I've been a counselor for way too long, I know how men think. You want to be a blessing to him, I'm sure. Then be a blessing in this, open you heart to God's love, to your husband's love, and to the freedom God gave us in the bedroom. Anal sex, toys, oral sex – those are not the issues. Love is. What does love demand? Ask God, and then do it.

    One practical tool I use is something I found years ago. Take a sheet of paper and turn it on its side. Draw two lines from top to bottom dividing the paper into three equal columns. Put "Red, Yellow, Green," on top, one in each column. Make a copy for your husband. In the red column write the sexual things that are always off limits. In the yellow one put the things that you are willing to try to see if they can be moved to the green column, which is filled with sexual things that are always ok. Try to learn to like those things in the yellow. Remember, there was a time when French kissing was gross; it may have even been in the red for a while. But you grew to like it. You will be amazed what you can grow to like. Pray for God to open your heart. If something cannot be moved, then you and your husband will have to accept that for now…. for now. It may change. When I told my wife my fantasies before we married she agreed to enthusiastically try. She grew to like it, and it is part of our lives now.

    Remember, love is about the other person, not about us. That means for your husband, too. He cannot demand what you cannot give, but you cannot decide that you cannot give until you've at least asked God what he wants for you in how you love your husband. Don't be afraid or embarassed to get help if you need it, and it sounds like that would be a good idea for you both. Sex is a common topic in the counseling room. God bless you both!

    • Stag-on-a-hill says:

      Thanks RMD. I think what you have said is so wonderful to hear at least from my perspective as a husband. Over the years I have grieved that there has been such a profound difference between what my wife was willing to give and what I so longed for. This is why MH is so important. Thanks!

      RMD could you write more on this site about how a couple can get what they both need in their marriage?

    • mamalee2001 says:

      RMD,
      I am really wanting and kind of excited to do a list as you suggested. I think it could be fun and helpful. Thank you

  14. in_my_hands says:

    I may have missed it among the comments, but it says that the marriage bed is undefiled. I take that to mean that in God's eyes, between husband and wife, almost anything is permissible. Now, I truly believe that "between husband and wife" it should be consensual, nothing being forced on the other.

    Maybe try something a few times, doing it out of love for your husband. If it is a turnoff, tell him in love that it just isn't for you. But isn't it grand that he comes to you, trying to keep your sex life interesting, instead of going elsewhere to have those needs met?

  15. ILoveMarriage says:

    Marriage is the ultimate personal growth program :-). Sex is the defining act of marriage. Your husband probably sees your reluctance to do this or that as lack of interest in the marriage or in him. Rather than discuss the specifics of which sex acts you will and won't do, reframe the conversation in terms of marital growth, including emotional and physical growth in the bedroom. If he sees that you are on board with sexual growth, maybe he won't obsess on on particular sex acts.

    I'll bet that there are a lot of areas where you can grow sexually that he doesn't even know about. I don't know where he has been getting his information, but if he thinks anal sex is the way to rock a girl's world, he hasn't been reading very reliable sources. The Bible doesn't prohibit anal sex, and some women enjoy it. But from my reading, it is something that a lot of couples try but it does not become a regular part of their lovemaking. I'll bet it is something that most couples are not capable of engaging in without causing the wife discomfort or pain.

    Kegel exercises, on the other hand, can be done by anyone, involves no pain, hygiene is not an issue, and will make sex more enjoyable for both of you. Another example: you could explore G-spot stimulation.

    You could learn to enjoy some things you are doing now but do not currently enjoy. But it is not fair for him to expect you to enjoy something you do not. I LOVE giving my wife oral sex. The taste, aroma, and view is incredible. That area is loaded with pheromones that sexually excite the person giving oral sex. I can't imagine that it wouldn't feel good for her. However, she did not enjoy it at first but generously permitted me to enjoy her that way. But you know, after several years, she came to not mind it so much, and now she enjoys it. It is a regular part of our lovemaking now. It is rare that we have sex and I don't kiss her there.

    I will say that while sexual learning and growth are great, your husband needs to take time to take the pressure off of you and himself, and just enjoy where you are. Even sex gets tiresome if it becomes nothing but work.

    That is mainly what I wanted to share with you. But I did want to comment on a couple other things you raised.

    I too like the look of skinny women. My wife was skinny when I married her, but has put on some weight, and her body shape has changed from pregnancy and childbirth. She is now 20% heavier and three times older than when I married her. And still looks GREAT and is the sexiest girl I know. I realize that she isn't 18 anymore, and I actually like a little more curvy ass and more graceful breasts. But what I also appreciate is that she takes care of herself. She isn't obsessive about it. She isn't trying to get back to her wedding weight. But she watches what she eats and goes to Pilates etc. That shows that she cares about herself and about me.

    If she let herself go and got fat, yeah, maybe I am shallow, but I would find her less attractive. And obesity has serious long-term health consequences. So congratulations on your weight loss. I would believe your husband when he says he finds you attractive. Let me tell you a little secret — the EFFORT put in at the gym, watching what you eat, etc. matter more to men than the actual results :-).

    As for aging wives, attractive younger women, etc. Yeah, age is no longer working in my wife's favor. She was more attractive when she was younger. BUT, while she used to be a 10, she had a lot of competition from other young women who were 10s. Now she is only a 9. BUT most of her peers who used to be 10s are running about a 5 :lol:. And while I do take good care of myself, I am not improving with age either.

    There is a lot more to love and sexual attraction than appearance. I beleive that if a guy said his wife's looks didn't matter, he would be lying. But while apprearance is important, it is not the main thing at all.

  16. SecondMarge says:

    What a great variety of advice and differing opinions. All I can add is how I try and handle issues. First pick your battles. Sometimes you can give in. Second compromise. Give him an activity he wants if he will stop requesting one you have the strongest objection to doing. Give him credit for trying to learn ways to better please you.

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