I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’ve been getting more and more comments from women say that they want sex more than their husbands, completely shattering the stereotype that men always want more sex. There are blogs from women in these types of marriages, guest posts, threads on message boards, everywhere you see wives saying “I want my husband to want me!”, but still the popular myth is maintained: that men need/want sex more than women. And anywhere a woman stands up and says “I like sex” or “I want sex every day” or “I want sex more than my husband”, there is someone standing up calling “unicorn” (mythical creature). But anyone who runs a blog dealing with marriage or sex, and I’d guess anyone in that area of marriage counselling as well, has to know that these are not unicorns, and there aren’t more of them every day, they’re just becoming more vocal.
This past week I ran a survey asking some simple questions about people’s marriage and sex life, and while this post was not the reason I ran the survey, nor was I looking for answers related to this post, I did see some stats that some of you may find surprising.
According to the men who voted, 3% of wives have a higher sex drive than their husband and 10% have matching drives giving 13% of wives with high sex drives. I would suggest this number is deflated because of the social stigma attached to men who don’t want sex as much as their wives.
According to the women who voted, 49% of them have higher sex drives than their husbands, with an additional 20% matching their husbands, giving an astounding 69% of wives have higher drives than their husbands. Now, I would suggest this number is inflated because it is far more likely that a high-drive woman would answer a survey about her sex life that she found on a Facebook page about sex, or a Twitter feed about sex, or a message board about sex.
So, if you add these together, I’m not sure they cancel each other out, but we probably come to a more realistic number of 22% of wives having a higher drive and an additional 14% matching their husbands. Which leaves us with 36% of wives having high drives.
Thirty Six Percent! That’s more than a third. How are your stereotypes holding up? Let’s keep going.
Now, it’s a well known, the stereotype, that wives refuse their husbands sex. Now, this data is harder to handle. You can’t just ask people if they are refused, because some people will say they are refused while they’re having sex more than seven times a week (which by the way only 3% of respondents are, but 50% of those who are have been married 25+ years, so kudos, you’ve earned it!). So, here is the logic I used to determine if someone is being refused:
- If you find your sex-life unfulfilling AND
- You are doing the initiating more than your spouse AND
- You are having sex once a week or less
Then, you might be a refused spouse. Now, you may agree or disagree with my criteria, but that’s what I have. If you have a better way of determining it, please let me know. So, turns out that husbands are being refused (according to my criteria) a lot less than would be believed by sitcoms. According to my respondents, we’re sitting at around 22% of men are being refused by their wives. This is nowhere near the belief we’ve been fed that sex dies after marriage. In fact, from what I can tell, marriages in the community I am reaching are having sex on average 2-3 times a week, which seems consistent with other, more scientific, surveys. Now, what about the women? I mean, if the stereotype is to be believed, then there should be none, or maybe 1. Surely not more than 1% anyways. How about 11%? That’s right, more than 1 in 10. How many married couples are their in your local church? If there are 50, chances are about 5% of those women are crying themselves to sleep at night because their husband doesn’t want to have sex with them. I bet you’re going to have trouble paying attention to the sermon this week trying to figure out who they are. Sort of changes your view doesn’t it?
Now, we have lots of posts out there about men being refused, about how to deal with the rejection, about how rejecting your husband for sex is an act of disrespect, and on and on it goes. But there really isn’t that much discussion on the women who are being rejected. What can we tell them? They’re hearing the same arguments are excuses that the rejected men are:
- I’m tired
- It’s late
- You want sex too much
- I have a headache
- I don’t feel well
- Not tonight
There are husbands racing to get to bed and be asleep before their wife makes it to bed. There are husbands staying up late at night hoping their wife will fall asleep before they get to bed. Don’t think that there aren’t. I’ve heard the stories from them. And as much as men want and need respect, women want and need to feel desired, and it’s hard to feel desired when the one person you should be able to count on to desire you doesn’t have any interest in looking at you, in feeling you, in touching you, in kissing you, and avoids sex with you like it’s the plague. My sisters in Christ who are dealing with this are hurting, they are suffering, and for the most part, they are suffering in silence, because in the words of one such wife who contacted me:
What does that say about me, that [my husband] doesn’t want to have sex with me? There must be something terribly wrong with me. Everywhere I look, every lesson on sex or article , tells me that men want and need sex. They think about it 10 times an hour. Why hasn’t anyone ever wanted me? What is wrong with me?
The shame of admitting that your husband doesn’t want sex with you can be more overwhelming than the hope that anyone can help.
And I honestly don’t know what to say to these women. I know there are things like their husband needs to lose weight, get his testosterone levels checked, he needs to follow the same scriptures about refusal that we give to wives, but it’s harder in these cases. Because the wives have this shame that their husband doesn’t want to be with them, and the husbands generally don’t want to acknowledge the issue, let alone deal with, because they have their own stigma. In societies view, what kind of man would pass down sex with a wife who wants it? I’m sure he doesn’t want people to think he’s “less of a man”. So, the advice, the counsel, the bible verses never reach his heart, because it’s too guarded against his own pain.
So, why am I writing a post when I don’t have an answer?
I guess to break some of the stereotypes. To take away some of the stigma. So that they can feel more comfortable about seeking help, and more people will be willing to help them.
What can you do? When you hear this stereotype, challenge it. Say you read a stat saying that 11% of women are being refused. Say that it’s not only men. Say that some women want sex more than their husband. Do it so that your sisters can get the help they need to work towards the marriage God wants for them.