Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is degradation subjective in the marriage bed? Do we analyze emotionalism too much?

On marriage forums I am always a bit amazed at what married folks consider to be degrading in their marriage bed AND in the marriage bed of others. Yes, some people want to have rules for others but how can we since degradation is so subjective.

How come sexual acts cannot be just physically pleasurable for a married couple at least some of the time? Do all married couples have to be so emotional each time they do a sexual act? If they are not so emotional every time, does it mean that they are only behaving as a 'couple' rather than as a 'married couple'? If they do an act and afterwards only say and think, "WOW, that was fun and it felt so good," does that mean they are not behaving as an intimate married couple? Do we not all at one point or another enjoy an act for the simple "feel good" component of it?

Is there a line drawn where a couple can do an act and still have their marital relationship intact.... or not? Do just "acts" always suck emotion and intimacy out of a marriage and does that happen with every couple? Or is it mainly subjective to the personalities of the individuals in a marriage and the way that the married couple mesh with each other?

At times I have read where a married person states that he/she or his spouse has to pray before each time they have sex. For them, NOT praying before sex could be degrading. Would it be degrading for all of us not to pray before sex because we are married and/or because we are in a Christian marriage?

Is it possible that some married individuals may put so much emotionalism in every sexual act that it can hinder complete sexual freedom within their MB? Is it so wrong to enjoy an act with our spouse simply because it feels good? Can we possibly be analyzing emotionalism in marital sex so much that it detracts from the physical pleasure we give and receive with our spouse?

I realize this is a lot of questions. You do not have to answer them all but please read them and then post your comments.


Cocotte said...

I believe that there are many people who over-analyze just about everything in their lives. It's a personality quirk and I could see how it would suck the life out of any relationship.

I look at it this way - if my husband requests a certain act in the MB, I'm going to do my best to fulfill that request unless I think it will be physically harmful (or obviously wrong like a threesome). I'm not going to dwell on "how will this make me look in his eyes/is this degrading, etc." because I'm 100% confident in our relationship. And I think the fact that my spouse requests special things from me shows that he is also confident in our relationship, knowing that I won't make fun of it nor over-analyze why he's asking it of me. Does that make sense?

On the flip side, I have made many "fantasy" suggestions to him and he has always followed through and never questioned me about it afterwards ( like, "why would you be turned on by that?"). It would be very inhibiting to be married to someone who constantly questioned what went on in your MB.

Gemma said...


Perhaps the ones who over-analyze are lacking in confidence. It goes a long way, doesn't it? So if I'm reading you correctly it seems that you are saying that confidence and not having to always question motives, makes for the best marriage relationships. When you think about it, if we really know and trust our spouse why would we often need to analyze things that they say and do in the marriage bed?

LIT56RD said...

Great post! I was just thinking about this. The other night DW and I ML and it was just plain physical and fun. After I felt a little bad for not being this "big emotional thing". And yes I still lack some of the confidence Cocotte speaks of. Maybe I just need to realize that at times it is OK to just "DO IT" and "Enjoy It" Praying for confidence.


job29man said...

I don't know where a couple of virgins figured this out, but before FW and I married we talked a lot about sex and love. And we both agreed that "Sometimes it will be about deep emotional connection, and sometimes it will just be about getting our rocks off, and both cases will be OK."

We read some authors and talked to some older couples, but the older couples were not real explicit, we had to read between the lines a lot.

When we talked to a younger couple (married in college, and still in early 20s) that helped a lot. I remember the guy telling me "Sometimes she is going to want to make love. And sometimes she just wants you to f**k her (words to that effect). You need to be there for her with complete enthusiasm in both cases."

Well, as a 20 something single guy I didn't need to be convinced of that. But it did cause a conversation with FW that helped us IMMENSELY later in marriage. My hormones have NEVER stopped raging, but hers are up and down, so that affects her desire. But she remembers that sometimes I am not looking for the big connection, just a good romp in the sack with a big O or two. And she is totally OK with that because of the discussions we had before marriage.

Gemma said...

Good for you and dw, LIT! To be honest, when I hear folks on marriage forums complain about lack of emotions in the marriage bed, it almost makes me want to scream, "CAN'T YOU JUST ENJOY THE GOOD FELLING?"

I do agree with Cocotte that confidence plays a huge part in dispelling those thoughts of "he only loves me for my body" or "all he wants is sex" or "he isn't tender enough in bed" or "he doesn't say he loves me when we're having sex" OR "what if I don't pleasure her" or "what if I can't turn her on the way she wants to be turned on" or "what if I do something to her in bed that she'll make me regret doing"....

Our emotions are important in the marriage but we don't have to cling to them during every sexual move. So yes, pray for confidence.

Gemma said...

Job, obviously your friend must have had a healthy marriage to be able to offer such a simple but excellent bit of advice.

job29man said...

I remember (this is 30 years ago) that once his wife told my FW "Can a woman rape a man? I kinda think I raped him last night." She was red-faced but grinning. It was a bit of a joke. But the meaning was clear to my FW "The woman can be aggressive."

When I talked to my friend about it, he just grinned and said... "Well I sure don't have to chase her around the bed!"

Gemma said...

Yes we can and we should. I enjoy "raping" GR all the time, especially when he's sleeping ;-).

Anonymous said...

landschooner here: Hi Gemma!

I've posted this a few times on TMB but I think this is why my wife won't / can't have sex with me on my birthday. It makes her feel like a "present" or something. Like it's forced instead of the culmination of a long drawn out wave of romance that's been building for days or weeks and finally culminates in the crescendo of sex!!! For most of our marriage, by the time she's ready, and all our emotional ducks are in a row(FOR HER), I've been pissed off for weeks for being pushed away again and again and again. Overemphasizing the "connection" or requiring it EVERY TIME, is actually very destructive. Sheesh! I'd just like to ML on my birthday ONCE in my life. (My CCC - Constant Current Caveat: Things are getting better for us this year, but I still doubt that birthday sex is something that she'll be able to do.)

luvmygirls said...

Sometimes we just go at it with no other motives than to enjoy each other. I think the sessions that are spontaneous would quickly lose momentum if one spouse or the other pulled back and said, "Wait! We need to stop and pray." Or even looking for a motivation. Last night neither of us was planning on LM, but it just happened with no motive. It was hot and passionate and un-prayed-over, but to say that it didn't bond us at all is a totally separate issue. It always brings us together, but to say that's a motivation every time...?

Gemma said...

Hi landschooner,

Just a thought---
Do you think your wife's emotionalism is based on a low self-esteem? I'm not saying it is but it seems to me that these things usually boil down to a few main reasons/excuses: sexually abusive background, or low self-esteem, or ignorance of the sexual "dance", sexual needs, between a dh and dw or.... just plain old selfishness. All of these reasons/excuses may be overcome with the right professional counseling. But as always, she'd have to agree to be counseled.

I understand being pissed off for weeks. I used to piss off GR for entire months and even years. What do you do on HER birthday? Do you make it a special day for her? Honestly, I would even be so bold as to bring it up on the night of her birthday after she's enjoyed her day and then ask her, "Why can't you see that I'd like for my birthday to be just as special for me?"

I'm curious although, you don't have to share this here--- What emotional ducks does your wife line up before she's ready? I like to see if they are anything like mine were.

Cocotte said...

I like what luvmygirls is saying...I've never heard of needing a "motivation" to have sex with your spouse. I guess you could say the motivation behind make-up sex is to bring you back together again. But what sorts of motivation do people need? Isn't the physical/emotional bonding of the act enough?

Gemma said...


Sounds like you and your dw have something good going on there. Spontaneity does make it easier to enjoy each other. Most of our LMing is not planned. GR and I just both assume it will always happen. That's how we end up having sex at night and then often again in the morning.

We did it last night while our 2 college kids were still up; I think they heard us [oops]. Early this morning GR started to get out of bed because he knew I had been tired lately. (ie, Waiting for surgery often has me tired and in pain.) Anyway, I stopped him and said, "Wait, we can get up in a bit," and I began giving him a HJ while I was waking up. That's easy to do while half asleep. Next thing we knew, we were having PIV-IC again. Then I let him get up ;-).

A habit of high frequency will happen if we put it into practice every day. Wives often complain of lack of emotional intimacy and use it as an excuse for saying "no" to sex. Even when my dh bent over backwards I still found other excuses. If more wives would just get in their heads to be willing to participate in frequent, passionate sex, if for no other reason than because they love their husbands and want to bless them, everybody would have better marriages. It took me years to figure that out but now I live by it.

Gemma said...


I think many spouses just don't see the physical and the emotional meshed together when they have sex. In their minds, they only view sex as an act. They won't make the emotional connection during sex. A mental block??? Even when we're not fully connecting outside the bedroom, GR and I look forward to entering the marriage bed because we know that we WILL connect both ways during LMing.

It just happens and it isn't because he whispers "sweet nothings" into my ear. He doesn't have to romance me in bed. I know he loves me and I know he cares for me. When making love, I don't need him to constantly remind me of his feelings for me because it shows through in his LMing.

herlover said...

Whether DW and I have hot, aggresive sex, or dreamy, slow, it is all emotional to me. I can't imagine each time we have sex not being emotional. And I mean that in a good way. Maybe you (Gemma) mean something different than I do when I use the word emotional.

Tulipsanticipation said...

Our sex life hasn't been up to par lately. Part of it is I'm depressed about not being able to find a job and I have a hard time letting go of anger and bitterness if I'm upset with DH. Parts of it are his issues too.

But I just told him yesterday that I miss the passion of ML and said I would love it if he came home from work one day, and instead of asking what's for dinner or doing paperwork he would just walk in the door, pick me up and take me wherever he wanted to have his way with me.

Gemma said...


In my article I meant when spouses use emotionalism in a negative way as an excuse to not be able to have sex. It's like their emotional "ducks" aren't all in the right order so they end up saying "no" to sex.

Some of us do not differentiate much between the physical and the emotional during sex.


I'm sorry you guys are struggling lately. Jobs have been hard to find for a lot of folks these days. I pray that you and dh can find a little time to work through the issues that are causing the anger and bitterness so you can get back to being in sync with each other.

Fwiw, life is always full of bumps and roadblocks, at least my life is ;-). We can learn how to enjoy sex even through trials. If I can automatically turn to sex to relieve emotional tension, which I do, it really helps in keeping my dh and I closely knit together.

midwestman said...

I like the advice that Job29man got: sometimes your wife (or you) want to make love, other times you just want to fuck for all its worth - I find that very true! Many people overanalyze stuff way too much, they keep going over it and going over it.

Gemma said: "If more wives would just get in their heads to be willing to participate in frequent, passionate sex, if for no other reason than because they love their husbands and want to bless them, everybody would have better marriages."

Oh how I wish that were true in my marriage bed. I still feel like I walk on eggs every time I ask. I delay asking sometimes because I know what the answer might be. There is definately not the freedom to know that when I want/need it it will happen, nor do I think that there ever will be (unless you can get in her head Gemma - lol).


Gemma said...


Didn't you say once that you and wife really benefited from reading the two Feldhahn books- For Women Only/For Men Only? I'm only asking because I wonder if it would help for you guys to read through them again? Perhaps your wife could use a literary reminder ;-)??? It's just a thought...