Sadly, this post is necessary in the year 2018. Gatekeeping and refusing of sexual intimacy within marriage are real, sorry to say. Even if only present in a relatively small percentage of marriages, lack of frequent, mutually fulfilling sexual intimacy affects millions of marriages in the Western world.
As to the literature on sex – and this includes posts and comments on marriage blogs and discussion forums, there is much discussion on a woman’s needs and her difficulty having or achieving her orgasm. Okay, we get that, but, yes BUT, your husband has needs as well that you need to be concerned with meeting and fulfilling. A fairly obvious truth, which is too often minimized, or taken for granted so to speak, is that healthy young men need frequent sexual release. Many young wives, even if sexually experienced, fail to grasp this fully, and that can lead to needless stress and conflict in the marriage. Problems in the sexual area of marriage can spill over into other areas of the married relationship, and this cannot be ignored nor trivialized.
(And, please, Christians, do not employ an erroneous understanding of the term “lust” when considering a normal, natural, healthy sex drive in a young man or woman. Sexual arousal and sexual desire are not lust (which involves covetousness). Regrettably, Christian sexual morality picked up some erroneous and harmful ideas from ancient pagan schools of thought in the early centuries of the Christian era. There is a need for sexual morality – simply look around you in today’s world for evidence of that need! – but when such morality goes over the line, becomes “sex negative” and starts burdening and down talking marriage and the married state, it has ceased to be sexual morality and has degenerated into sexual repression.)
Yes, there are husbands who refrain from sexual intimacy with their wives, and that is wrong. But, given the preponderance of comments from husbands on many marriage blogs lamenting and complaining of gatekeeping wives, we address our words here mainly to wives. Please understand that your husband does not have to earn sexual intimacy with you. Sexual intimacy is his right once you exchange marriage vows with each other. And, for those women who are engaged to marry, if you are unwilling to have frequent sexual relations with your future husband once married, you need to inform him of this before you marry. Do not defraud him! Engagements are not the same as being married, and these (engagements) can be called off.
Wives, do not use sex as a weapon or as a bargaining chip with your husband. Women have been doing this sort of harmful shit for thousands of years now. If you are in conflict on other matters, resolve those conflicts outside of your marriage bed. As well, do not buy into this very destructive feminist ideology that your husband is a dumb brute without feelings and will “objectify” you if you have sex with him frequently. It needs to be said that the women who hijacked feminism in the 1960s were quite bitter individuals (Friedan, Abzug, and Steinem). This came out in their later writings and interviews. Do not follow the twisted advice of individuals who were/are motivated by extreme personal bitterness.
We think that sex needs to be addressed before marriage. Yes, we are quite aware that many couples engage in sex prior to marriage. But, even so, sex needs to be discussed as to expectations for your marriage. The rather tragic irony these days is that many persons have quite a lot of sex before they get married and then once married, in a rather short time they do not have much sex with their spouse. This is backwards. People – as difficult as it may be – ought to save sex for marriage and then have good (even great), mutually satisfying sexual relations and intimacy frequently with their spouse. To be sure, achieving that great and mutually satisfying sexual relationship with one’s spouse requires ongoing effort and is a learning experience. That is a challenge, but it is also quite rewarding and exhilarating to work towards. Realizing that it takes time to learn about each other and about each other’s bodies, do not despair, but persevere in your loving experiences in sexual intimacy with your spouse.
During sexual intimacy, the spouses open themselves up emotionally as well as physically. And, husbands do have emotions, even if they do not always show evidence of such. The fact is that both spouses are vulnerable within the loving sexual relationship. Yet, with shared mutual respect, mutual acceptance and honest, open 2 way communication as to needs and expectations, the most vulnerable shared moments in sexual intimacy can be some of the most gratifying emotional and psychological experiences in your marriage. Bear that in mind, and do not neglect your loving sexual relationship with your spouse.
I do think that we need to do a better job of raising our daughters here in the US to be more giving. There is more to the problem here than just 50 years of toxic gender feminism. As we opined previously on this blog, in the US, there is a several generations old societal proclivity for spoiling female children. (It is the opposite to Asia, where male children tend to be spoiled and female children are treated quite badly.) We need to do a better job of instructing and teaching our daughters to more properly understand their future role as a loving and supportive wife for their husband.
I had thought of writing an essay that would have been entitled something like “the psychology of ejaculation”, and would have addressed why frequent sexual release is so important to a husband not simply physically, but also emotionally and psychologically. But, it may not be welcomed or appreciated by many readers, so I dropped the idea. As well, we addressed this in part in our marriage series years back (in part 3 of “marriage with a little sex and a little spice”). Suffice it to say here that your husband will feel rejected by any sexual gatekeeping or refusal from you. This in turn leads to not only frustration but also to eventual deep resentment of you. Many such rejected husbands will withdraw over time more and more from being actively involved in the marriage relationship. The lesson here is that if you play this harmful game of sexual gatekeeping, you put your marriage, your long term happiness, and even the welfare of your children at serious risk (from separation and divorce). Sexual refusal and gatekeeping, using the withholding of sexual intimacy from your spouse as a weapon to get back at him, is a lose-lose stratagem. Do not do it.
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