Priming Your Wife for Primetime

mDear Shaunti,

It seems like I am always the one to initiate sex. Even when I do, my wife sometimes seems less than enthusiastic.  In other ways, we have a great relationship, but this is a big deal for me and it really bums me out. What can I do so that she finds me desirable?


Dear Frustrated,

Well, it sounds like you are just like the typical married male that wants more sex than you get. (Ladies, if you have the higher drive in your marriage, check out our special article series “When She Has the Stronger Sex Drive.”)

The good news is that – if your wife is like most other women — this likely has nothing to do with your desirability! My surveys of men and women have found that most of the time when there is a difference in desire, it isn’t because of the husband’s desirability.  Instead, it is probably mostly a physiological difference between men and women.  See, with more testosterone, most men have what is called “assertive desire”, and want to pursue sex and are ready very quickly.  But women have far less testosterone.  So although most women enjoy it when it’s happening, they just don’t think about it as much and – here’s the key – aren’t ready at a moment’s notice.  Women need what we call “anticipation time” – time to think about it so she can be ready to enthusiastically enjoy your time together rather than being surprised by it.  Your wife probably needs to know what you’ve got on your menu for the evening before you get to the bedroom!  Although you may think that if you were desirable enough, she wouldn’t need that anticipation time, remember that she is simply physically different from you.  So make a little flirting comment early in the day – yes, that is a nice outfit, and maybe tonight you can see her with even less on – and get her thinking about it, and enjoy the results!

Do you want Shaunti to share these life-changing truths at your church or event? Inquire about Shaunti speaking, here.

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 Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages and her newest, The Good News About Marriage. 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 for more.

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