Question: How concerned should I be if I start to think about other women while my wife and I are having sex?
Answer: An intrusive thought every now and then isn’t cause for alarm. During sex, it’s possible for you to have thoughts about nonsexual things as well as thoughts about people. But if these thoughts regularly invade your lovemaking and include beautiful women who talk dirty to you, then you may have a problem.
Unfortunately, many men have conditioned themselves in adolescence with airbrushed, fantasy babes who only look like real people. If you are lusting and objectifying women throughout the day, then you are more likely to also struggle in this area in the bedroom. You need to recondition your brain.
You can actually redirect your brain’s chemical pathways by placing a rubber band on your wrist and snapping it every time you objectify a woman. This way, you’ll stop “rewarding” your brain for lusting, and it will begin to connect the lustful thoughts with the “ouch” pain rather than pleasure. In my many years of counseling men in this area, I’ve seen this exercise successfully shut down more than 80 percent of lustful thoughts or fantasies within one month!
If a sexual thought hits you during sex with your wife, open your eyes and start talking to her. If you’re looking at her and talking to her (not talking dirty, but lovingly), you’ll simply run out of RAM to do all that and keep a fantasy going too. Again, if these intrusive thoughts are very infrequent, don’t worry too much–that’ll just make it worse. But if this is a regular occurrence, get accountability or talk to a counselor.
Question: Is it normal for a woman to regularly experience pain during lovemaking? This has always been an issue for my wife, and it makes her very hesitant to be with me. Got any suggestions?
Answer: This question is asked periodically in my office. First, it’s important for your wife to talk to her gynecologist. She might be able to determine if there are any physiological obstructions. She might also suggest that you fully arouse your spouse prior to penetration. Also, she might suggest that you use lubrication during lovemaking to make it easier and more pleasurable for your wife.
Not all pain during sex is physiological. I have counseled women who report that due to sexual abuse or rape, they actually experience pain during intercourse. If a gynecologist doesn’t find any physical obstructions and your wife has experienced sexual trauma in her past, perhaps counseling would be the route to go for resolution. There are many female counselors who have had great success in this area of healing for women.
Don’t give up! But be patient as you seek solutions together. Remember, being selfish and demanding will only frustrate you both in the end.
Question: How can I let my wife know that I like it when SHE gets things going? It gets a little tiring to have to light the fire every time.
Answer: Having sex initiated is important to a man. It makes us feel desired, wanted and handsome.
Tell your spouse how it makes you feel when she does this. Let her know that when she says, “Hey, Baby, want to make love?” that what you’re hearing from her is, “You’re wanted, you’re handsome, and you’re important to me.”
You may need to explain it to her in a way that she can understand. Try this: “You know the other day when I took the kids for breakfast, went grocery shopping, picked up the dry cleaning, put the laundry away and picked up the kitchen all by 10:30 a.m. How did you feel? Loved? Cherished? That’s how I feel when you ask me for sex.”
Ultimately, she must embrace the truth that she is free in Christ to express herself sexually. She can learn this, but trust me, she’s not going to learn it from you. She might suspect your motives. It’s kind of like when a pastor speaks on tithing; he’s probably pure-hearted, but you may question his “real” motives. There are plenty of good, Christian books/videos out there that can help her to embrace this truth. (I have a DVD called The Best Sex of Your Life–for Women Only, which she may find beneficial.)
Talk to her about mutually initiating sexuality. After all, if you can fold laundry and change diapers as a modern-day man, then she can ask you for sex as a modern-day woman. If she knows what initiating sex does for your heart, not just your body, she may be more willing to try.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is founder of Heart to Heart Counseling Center. His new book, The Seven Love Agreements, which explains seven “love agreements” that will help to uncover new levels of intimacy in relationships, releases October 4 and can be preordered by calling 1-800-599-5750 or at charismahouse.com. Contact him at drdoug weiss.com, or by writing 5080 Mark Dabling Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.