Have you heard this one? When it comes to sex, men are like microwaves and women are like crockpots. A man can be turned on and hot at the press of a button. A woman needs to be turned on in the morning and takes a while to heat up. You can’t just flip the switch and expect a gourmet meal.
I’m pretty sure I was in church the first time I heard that illustration. My first thought was, “Oh jeez, are we really talking about sex in church?” My second thought was, “Thank God we are talking about sex in church!” I was dating Tony and by this time we were both pretty sure we were going to get married. Only, he’d been celibate, and I, uh… well, I hadn’t. Talking about sex was awkward, so I felt thankful someone else was bringing it up. Since then, we’ve both heard a lot of advice about having a healthy sex life. Some of it has been enlightening, some of it has been relieving, and some of it I’m still confused by.
What I’ve noticed in all of the advice I’ve heard and read about sex is this: men and women are fundamentally different. Ok, you probably already knew that. Still, I think it’s worth exploring- especially when it comes to your sexual relationship and the way it impacts your marriage overall. You see, if you are married to someone of the opposite sex, it is virtually impossible to understand the inner workings of their mind, emotions, hormones, and perceptions. Your brain and their brain are wired completely differently. We can’t expect our partner to think and feel the same way that we do about the same things, as much as we may want them to. Acknowledging our vast differences also means acknowledging that we have to be willing to meet them somewhere in the middle– this is particularly true if we are going to experience the incredible joys of true intimacy.
True intimacy, at its core, is selfless– it starts with desiring to know your partner’s wants and needs. Respecting your partner by seeking to meet those wants and needs is the very foundation of great sex– and, in your marriage, a healthy sex life.
I think many men are surprised to learn that women typically don’t think about sex “every six seconds,” and that their idea of foreplay is waking up to a full coffeepot that she didn’t have to brew herself.
So, if you need some help, here are some tips for cooking up something hot in the Crockpot…
Turn her on in the morning.
Go out of your way to be helpful with your morning routine.
Get up early enough to pour her a cup of coffee before she is up.
Tell her she looks great.
Help get the kids breakfast.
Make that goodbye kiss slow and long.
Tell her she looks great.
Ask her what she’s looking forward to for the day.
Let her know you’re looking forward to coming home to her tonight.
Even if she’s still got “bed head,” tell her she looks great.
Check on her in the middle of the day.
Call her and tell her you’re thinking about how great she looks.
Text her just to say “I love you.”
Tell her you miss her.
Leave her a special note someplace– like on the bathroom mirror or in her purse.
Let her know you’re ordering pizza so neither of you need to worry about making dinner.
Don’t rush it at the end of the day.
Check in to see if there is anything you can grab for her on your way home.
If she’s home when you get there, greet her warmly before you greet the kids.
Be helpful with the kids and dinner. Pour her drink before you pour your own.
Tell her she looks great.
Ask her about her day, and listen.
Offer to clean up after dinner (this works especially well if you rarely/never do this).
Give her a nice long hug, without being too grabby.
Share with her one of your favorite memories of your early days together.
I’m pretty sure that in the history of husbands and wives navigating troubled waters, no couple has ever sat down with a counselor and said, “We’re having too much sex. It’s a problem.” Regular sex is a vital part of a healthy marriage. Even the Bible implores us not to abstain from sex with our spouse. If, as a husband, you feel like you are getting rejected when you pursue your wife for sex, think back in your mind to how the rest of the day, even the rest of the week, has gone. Is this the first or only way you’ve tried to connect with your wife? Have you, even unintentionally, dismissed and ignored her in other areas?
Sir, if you do even a few of these things we listed above throughout the day, you might just be plating up a gourmet meal for your efforts. As a man, it may be difficult to understand that a woman needs to feel connected in order to want to have sex. All of the things I mentioned may not sound very sexy. You may never understand why helping get the kids breakfast in the morning makes your wife want to treat you to dessert at the end of the day, but trust me, it matters. The more she feels connected to you, appreciated and valued by you, the more eager she will be to get closer to you physically.
Now, Ladies, before you start using the tips above as bargaining chips, listen up. If you are withholding sex from your husband as a way to manipulate him to be more helpful around the house or to connect with you more in conversation, you are completely sabotaging yourself and your marriage! Sex is an act of intimacy, and intimacy does not come out of manipulation of any kind. On Monday, Tony will share his perspective on the Microwave’s side of things. So stay tuned and #staymarried.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post and think it could benefit someone else’s marriage, please consider sharing. You can use the social media buttons at the top or bottom of this post. Also, if you’re new here, welcome! You might like to check out why we started this blog and my first entry to get a little background. Thanks for stopping by!
Photo Credit: Lindsay Kaye Photography