Sex: The Art of Asking For More

Here at One Flesh Marriage we have talked about the importance of sex, the connection within sex, and the joys of sex.  Each time that we do, we hear from people who report that their spouses are not interested in sex!  They have told us that they, “wish we could convince their spouse to do the 10-Day Challenge, but it just won’t work in our relationship”.  Invariably they ask, “How can I get my wife to have more sex?”

Now, before I dive into this important topic I want to say, loud and clear that we have also heard from women who are asking, “Why won’t my husband have more sex with me?”  So even though this post is from the perspective of a husband seeking more sex with his wife, this is in no way a one sided issue!  

The art of asking for more sex is very difficult for many men!  The first complication is simply in the asking!   Men and communication never go well together.   Men have 3 methods to tell their wives that they would like to have sex.  These man methods are critical skills that we refine, practice, and perform with precision.  At risk of having my “man card” taken I will only share a brief description:

1) The Sly Man Method:  This method calls for the least amount of prodding possible to “test the waters”  It starts was a casual “how are you feeling tonight honey?” followed asking, (during a commercial break of course), “so what would you like to do tonight?”  The correct tonal quality in this question and the proper emphasis on “you” is added to make sure our wives get the message.  Before the sly man method is abandoned we will also try the sly kiss, and the sly pat on the butt executed at a time and place totally unexpected and unwelcomed by our wives.

2) The Comedian Man Method:  Once the sly methods have been exhausted it is time to bring out the big guns!  In this method we tell subtle jokes about our sex life, “You know we were born without clothes on, maybe we should try it sometime?” or, “I’m feeling a little off today. Would you like to turn me on?” Amazingly these methods sometimes fail as well.

3)  Oliver Man Method:  When the other methods fail there is only one left.  This is when desperation leads to a poor imitation of Oliver begging, “Please, may I have some more!”

All kidding aside most men have difficulty initiating sex with their wives.  We simply do not know how to initiate a conversation or actions that would really communicate we would like to have passionate sex with our wives! 

I admit for years my marriage I did not initiate sex with Kate, not because I didn’t enjoy sex, or because I didn’t want more of it, but simply because I didn’t know how to initiate.   When I had used the man method’s to no avail and did risk initiating I often did such a poor job of it that it that it wasn’t met with a positive response.  So rather then verbalizing my emotions I bottled them up, and stopped initiating!   How juvenile!  Actually, it took Kate several years to get me out of this habit!   I know that I’m not the only guy who has fallen into the trap of waiting for our wives to initiate while silently waiting on the sidelines simply begging to be called into the game. 

God knew that this was going to be an issue for us guys!  God’s awesome like that!  There is a great scripture that speaks directly to this issue!   James 4 says….

I’ll bet you thought I was going to quote Ephesians 5, about how our bodies are not our own!  Ahh, you are wrong!   James 4 is much more poignant for this problem!   

James 4: 1-3 says:
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” (NIV)
We fight because of our desires, specifically unfulfilled desires.  Sound familiar? 

We want what we don’t have so we scheme or, use the man methods to get it, but we don’t ask!  We don’t ask God and we don’t ask our wives! 

Then finally when all else fails we ask, beg and plead, but we ask with the wrong motives!  We are asking out of a desire for pleasure, a desire for our pleasure. 

Our Pleasure, what is wrong with that?  We are talking about sex here, right?   Yes, we are but our pleasure is the exact wrong motivation for sex!  The physical pleasure of sex is a bi-product, a wonderful, awesome, breathtaking bi-product, but it is not the point of sex! The true, Biblical, One Flesh purpose for sex is the intimate connection it creates between husband and wife!  

Our wives know this much better then we do!  They understand that intimacy comes before pleasure!  Don’t get me wrong your wife loves the pleasure bi-product too, but she understands that it is a bi-product and she is looking for the real thing!  

Are you looking to have more sex with your wife?   Then consider ways to develop real intimacy.  Find ways to increase your Emotional connection, Spiritual connection, even your Intellectual connection I promise if you focus on these that the physical intimacy you are also seeking will become the successful bi-product of this new level of intimacy!  Sit down with your wife tonight and talk about your desire to grow a deeper connection with her.  Ask her how you can help build that connection!

Abandon the man methods and start using the Real Man Method! 

Love intimately, Sacrifice self abundantly, and Give freely!
“Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God  Ephesians 5:2 NIV
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17 Responses to Sex: The Art of Asking For More

  1. I was excited to read your post (as a husband who has a horrible time initiating). I agree with the pursuit of intimacy, and subscribe to it because it works, and we are much closer because of it. I am lucky that my wife will initiate often, but I know she is frustrated that I don't initiate more. How can I build up the courage and tactfully initiate?

  2. This is probably true (can't speak from experience). As is the corollary for wives (If you want more intimacy, pursue more sex (with your husband). Based on my untrained layman's perspective deepening levels of intimacy differ between men and women (acquaintance, casual, emotional {women} / physical {men}, physical {women} / emotional {men}, spiritual)

  3. Tack and openness and timing is the key! One possibility is to wait till after your wife initiates, and in the "glow" of a great experience be open about your desire to initiate more frequently. Ask her forgiveness for leaving sex in your marriage up to her and talk about specific ways and times you can initiate in the future! Also if she is a reader of this blog make sure she read's Kate's response post (which isn't up yet, but will be soon)! It will knock her socks off but may be the catalysis you are looking for!

  4. So, what happens when the spouse says the wives will get more intimacy when they get more sex? Kind of the chicken before the egg scenario. We've gone round and round about this one!

  5. I would say the problem here is that both of you are working out of your NEED rather then your love. If each of you would focus on the others need and not your own both needs would be met! Either of you could start, as I recommended in this post I think it is the husbands duty to love extravagantly first, then the physical intimacy will come as a result. I know that Kate encourages the opposite, but she will be saying more about that later. But no matter what Sex, nor intimacy should be a bargaining tool to get your needs met!

  6. My wife and I have been married for nearly 9 years. Since we had kids 4 years ago I can usually count on two hands the amount of times we have sex during the year. I’ve felt very frustrated that she never initiates and when I try to get things going, it’s like she gets wind of it and starts to say things that put me off. Usually this is nagging me about something I’ve not done, or she starts to go on about something that needs to be done. So after a while, I have just given up asking, especially as I feel she’s justified in her frustrations about me.

    What makes it worse is that in every other area, I have an amazing and wonderful wife. She’s an amazing mother to my children and really runs a fantastic home. I know she loves me, but we’ve had some issues over the years that have eroded the trust between us and so I think she really struggles to open herself up to me.

    I’m hoping we can meet with some counselors soon because I can’t take it for much longer and I always feel bad asking for more sex.

    I’d appreciate any advice or guidance you might have in the meantime.

    • Hi A Jesus Loving, but frustrated husband! Thanks you so very much for writing and sharing your story with us. Please know that you are not alone out there. I hear much pain in what you share and my heart goes out to you. Sadly, I was your wife for many years of our marriage. 🙁 While we talk about it openly here on the blog, it is still something I deeply regret and now see all of the emotional pain I was causing Brad. What you share, about your wife deflecting attention back to you, so that she does not have to have you persuing her, was me as well. Pick a fight about something else and he will go away.

      I would encourage you to keep serving your wife and treating her the way God asks in Ephesians 5. Will it be easy-no! Yet, you are accountable for you and not for your wife. You might think that is easy for me to say, since I was similar to your wife and yet, I wish I had taken to heart God’s word, because if I had-there is no way I could have remained the wife I was. It was only when I opened my heart to God’s word and will for me as a wife, that I stepped up and changed. I would encourage you to do the same, even when you feel like all hope is gone. God can be the strength and everything you need! It is not cliche, truly he can!

      I would also say that seeing a counselor is a must. You and your wife need to sit down and talk about all of this. I hear you that you feel bad about the things you don’t get done and therefore have no grounds to desire sex with your wife-but that is simply not biblical. You are supposed to desire that connection with your wife and those needs should be met. Unfortunatly we are a broken people and the things that God has given us as the most special gift, are often the things we mistreat and misunderstand.

      The other thing that comes to mind, is that many women have trouble with libido and desire after having a child! This can continue for years. Having kids, wrecks your body, your self esteem and your hormones. Not to mention you are exausted all the time. Your wife many have hormonal imbalances or could also be struggling from depression. Obviously I am no physician, but I do know that this is common and did expereince some of this myself. Seeking a doctors advice together could really answer many questions. Offer to go with your wife, because you love her and want to help in any way you can. You want to understand how this all looks for her. Because from your side of the bed, you just want to share sexual intimacy with your amazing wife. She may not feel so amazing about herself.

      I have no doubt that you love your wife dearly and desire her greatly. I also know that she wants to desire you as well. There were times I was so confused with myself and would just want to cry, because I loved Brad so very much! I wanted to be with him, yet could not understand why I did not desire sex. I also learned that many times once I got started, then I desire came. Women are structured that way by God. We don’t immediatly have desire, it comes after arousal. But if you never give yourself the chance to be arounsed, well then you never desire sex. I would imagine, even though she may seem to push you away, she really desires closeness with you!

      I wish I had words to make this all better. I can share that seeking help and working through it together can grow your intimacy in ways you never thought possible, if both are willing. Don’t give up! Pray! And seek help! Please know that we are praying for you! Blessings, Kate

      • Hi Kate, how things have changed for the better since your reply (which for some reason I’ve only just seen). I’ve been following some of your advice without realising it. Been praying for my wife a LOT & asking the Lord to build bridges in our marriage. I read ‘The Power of a Praying Husband’ which really helped & I saw that it was ok to ask the Lord to give my wife a sexual desire for me…needless to say this was a priority prayer for a while 🙂
        Since then she’s come to realise where she was at, and went to the Dr to find out what was wrong. She was prescribed with an over sensitive nerve, which was preventing her from enjoying intimacy & also causing her mentality to close up too. She’s been dealing with this amazingly well.
        I was really excited to see the 10 day challenge and was even more amazed when my wife told me SHE wanted to do it! Although we’ve both been really ill and not able to take part yet, we’re going to do it anyway as soon as! It doesn’t really matter if you follow the official pattern I suppose. Looking forward to it.
        Thank you to you both for your love, care and attention to God’s people. You are a real blessing to real people like us.

        • Hi Again a Jesus Loving Hubby!

          Brad and I rejoice with you! Praise God! You don’t know how much we rejoice with you-reading this brought a big smile to my face and tears to my eyes. God is so faithful!

          The 10 Day Challenge can be done at anytime and you can just re-read our daily tips and washing in the word. Know that we are praying for you both.

          Give that amazing wife of yours an extra hug for being brave, stepping out and seeing her doctor! That is truly something, because many men and women refuse to go see their doctor. I am so proud of her and you! Keep praying for her and seeking God on who he wants you to be as her husband! Stop back and let us know how the 10 Day Challenge went-no matter how it goes. It is not about making it all 10 day as much as it is about making sex and intimacy a priority! We would love to hear from you. You can comment or feel free to email us at

          You are an incredibly blessing to us as well! We thank God for you and your wife! Blessings and continued healing on your one flesh journey! Kate

  7. I think your position here is superficial and condescending. In particular, you write about men who’ve simply given up initiating intimacy because of a history of refusals. Trust me, there’s nothing immature about this form of surrender. It’s a defense mechanism against the incredibly painful and humiliating rejection by the one person on earth a man needs respect, affirmation and intimacy from the most. And the suggestion about more emotional intimacy beforehand resulting in increased sexual pleasure and frequency is laughable. Do you think no one’s ever tried that? That approach places the entire burden (and it is a burden) of a couple’s physical relationship squarely on HIS shoulders. Sorry, pal, but I’m not singularly responsible for my spouse’s libido, and I cannot “get her in the mood” if that’s not what she wants. Conversely, my attempts can almost certainly put her in “a mood.” And so I’ve done what far too many men see as our only remaining option: wait it out, and leave it up to her. Currently, the wait time averages 5-8 weeks, so this, too, is a Betty Crocker recipe for frustration.

    • Mike, what you’ve missed is that this post is written to husbands. Yes, placing the entire burden on fixing the couple’s sexual relationship on his shoulders was exactly the goal. Should it be there? No of course not. But I hear from men all the time who have given up because their wife isn’t interested, while all the time they are so self focused they don’t even notice that her needs are not being met either. Throughout One Flesh Marriage we challenge couples to work on themselves first. Kate challenges the wives openly to think about putting husband’s needs first, including sex! Heck we’ve encouraged women to try the 10 day sex challenge as a way to growing intimacy in their relationship. So you can’t accuse us of not challenging equally. Just don’t forget, emotional intimacy plays just a big a role here! There are 2 ways to withhold in a relationship. Your wife apparently has found one. My question, and my challenge in this post is to take a close look at if you are doing the other!

  8. This is really speaking to me. I want more sex from my wife, however I’m not getting it. She says every other day is ok. That is if we have sex every other day. But I’m like we’re newly weds!!! I’m having trouble asking for sex. My wife tells me I have no tact and that I don’t engage her. What should I do???

    • Shane,
      Great question, have you tried to reach out in the ways that this post suggested? Most of the time guys ask for sex in a way that is just not very sexy. That just doesn’t work well for anyone. We do that because we are scared that the rejection will really upset us. If your wife is already saying that regular sex is good, then the fear of rejection doesn’t have to be as great. It isn’t like she is saying not tonight, maybe next month. She’s saying “I don’t feel right tonight, how about tomorrow”. That makes things easier. Talk to her about ways that you can make your desire for HER lovingly known. Then listen. See what she says.