Ladies: What do you wish husbands knew when it comes to sex & intimacy?

 As I put the final touches into the preparation for our next cohort of the Men’s Intimacy & Desire Coaching Program, I wanted to ask you wives: what do you wish more husbands better understood when it comes to sex and intimacy?

If you’re not familiar with the course, it’s 10 weeks of study on how to be better husbands. The men in our group meet weekly over Zoom. Our calls are full of fun, camaraderie, and insight into being better lovers. So far, here are the topics I plan to cover:  

    • The value of real affection, cherishing, and loving. Not giving-to-get. 
    • How intimacy and being vulnerable in our relationships isn’t for wimps — it takes effort!

    • How to be more solid within yourself

    • The links between integrity, honesty, authenticity, and a satisfying love life

    • How to be more attractive and desirable to your wife

    • How focusing on being your best version of yourself is the only legitimate path to improving your relationship

    • How to be playful and creative in the bedroom

    • How men’s (and women’s) bodies work and how to last longer

    • How to make sex more exciting and fulfilling for your wife

    • ..and much more

 What else do you wish men better understood when it comes to a great sex life? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Jaina Thurston

    How to read your spouse better to know whether it’s a good night to try or if they just need a breather.

  2. Emily

    Be listening, open, and sharing.. Women tend to take longer to warm up so take it slow. Get to know your wife better and allow yourself to be influenced by her. And don’t forget how important romance is!

  3. Anonymous

    How to show affection and physical touch in a non-sexual way, so she knows you don’t just want her for sex. That way, when it’s time for sex, she won’t feel she’s being used but actually has a desire to be intimate and make love.

    • Brandy Cox

      Yes!!!! This!!!

      • Ruth Paans

        Oh yes! This!! Good one!

    • Kelly Giorno

      Yes! Be loving and affectionate throughout the day. Serves like foreplay. Much more desire to be intimate after feeling loved on all day

  4. Brooke

    Switch it up with pillow talk—instead of “you’re hot,” say something creative that can lead to a fun fantasy!

  5. Sarah

    How men can better initiate without just saying “wanna have sex?” It can put the lower desire spouse in a position where they either feel obliged to say yes when they aren’t feeling it or they will just say no if caught off guard like that. Women have to mentally prepare themselves to really be in the mood. It’s not spur of the moment (usually). Husbands could better understand how to connect, flirt, hint throughout the day to get their wives thinking in a more sexual state of mind. At least personally, I usually have been thinking about it and warming myself up to the idea of making love long before it occurs. If it hasn’t been on my mind, then I will feel way too far away from his arousal level to want to join him there.

    • Brandy Cox

      Yes. This too.

    • Aimee

      Yes this. Scheduled sex is way more sexy many times for me. Invite me to think about sex not just have sex. Don’t just cop a feel and assume I’m on the same page.

    • Sexy Sarah

      It is VERY TRUE that”sex begins in the kitchen”. Essentially, helping her/me with some domestic chore around the house. Even if it’s right away in the morning, I WON’T FORGET and the feeling will grow in me all day until I just EXPLODE!!

  6. Linda

    I wish my husband knew intimacy started before the bedroom and not just in the bedroom

  7. Daniel

    My approach is to give my wife the best experience I can. The focus is not on what I can get, but what I can give. So far it seems to be working well! 🙂

  8. Michelle C

    That if we mention we like something it doesn’t mean it has to be done every time or that it’s the only thing we like. Also, what turns us on one time might not turn us on the next. (We aren’t being mean, sometimes it just depends where we’re at in our cycle, sometimes things we like might actually hurt at certain points in our cycle)

    • Brandy Cox

      Yep. This as well.

    • Aimee

      True. My hubby has figured this out. At times, though, nothing at all seems to be working. Don’t take that personally. Sometimes I don’t get my own body. How can he expect to. In those moments I’m ok just moving on attending to his pleasure. This is connecting too. Sometimes it’s not going to be mind blowing and it’s ok.

  9. Tandee

    If you’re attentive to her emotional needs during the day, she’ll be more likely to respond positively to you at night. She needs to feel emotionally connected (to feel cherished, respected, admired, valued, understood) in order to want to have sex with you. Otherwise, if you get it, it’ll only be duty sex. She needs your attention more than just when you’re ready to get it on.

  10. Shannon Baker

    I wish my husband knew and understood the WHY of everything you have listed. He doesn’t understand the HOW and I’ve learned that he won’t care about the how #1) when I’m the one telling him, and #2) without first understanding WHY it’s important. Only after I explain why something matters is he willing to listen to how it impacts me (and ultimately our relationship) so I can guide him on how to fulfill whatever it is I’m asking of him.

  11. Kylie Cardinet

    As much as we talk about it, my husband just cannot wrap his mind around the fact that I don’t think about sex 24/7 and that I’m not always in the mood like he is. He tends to take it personally when for me I’m just tired or emotionally not ready to be physically intimate. I feel that those are common and normal feelings among women and for men to understand that the wiring really is just different and that I’m not unattractive to my spouse when I decline the opportunity to engage sexually.

    • Brandy Cox

      Or he thinks I’m abnormal and a normal woman has more interest in sex then I do. Which may be the case but certainly doesn’t help if he is telling me I’m not normal because I’m not as interested in sex as he is.

      • Aimee

        Lol! Being told you need to be fixed is not sexy!

  12. JS

    That no different than the relationship- sex, desires, and intimacy evolves over time. Very often when people get married, they are inexperienced and timid when it comes to sex. As a person cultivates not only a better understanding of sex and their body but their personal preferences, what they desire for intercourse will often change with that understanding. What worked the first few years of marriage will need to evolve and change as the spouses change. Not that it means throwing everything out the window, but to create a safe space to try new experiences, no shame or strings attached.

    Secondly, that the first year after the arrival of a new babe, sex is fkn daunting. Our body has changed drastically. We are exhausted beyond measure. We are often lonely and frustrated and it is a huge mental hurdle to jump over to get in the mood. The husband’s need to remove their ego entirely from the equation during those first 12 months- if not all together. We wish to say yes more often, we are just already spread so thin that shaming and getting angry will not help anyone.

  13. Bethany

    I wish my spouse knew and would be willing to learn how to prolong the intimate encounter! After enjoying foreplay and intercourse, almost 97% of the experiences immediately end with him getting up and getting drinks ect. And sometimes im still in the mood, and unless I want to continue alone(not very romantic!) I don’t have a choice until next time. And im not asking for a continuation very often, but once every 6 months might be a fun spicy thing!

    • Toria

      I feel attractive when my husband only has eyes for me. We got rid of TV because of the amount of nudity and partial nudity. We have chosen to instead spend time together. We play co-operative board games. The two of us “saving the world” together helps build an emotional intimacy. We also have sex more often. I am mindful that to feel loved he needs that physical bonding but I also finally got the courage to speak up about how he could help me enjoy sex more so I wanted it more often. For us a clitoral stimulator made the difference. It is only used when we are together. I thought he might be offended but it was opposite. He thinks it is fabulous and he has learned a lot about what I like and don’t like.
      I think men need to know that women can be shy about talking about their sexual needs and preferences. Having a partner say, “I want you to orgasm before me. Show me how I can help make that happen.”

      Tell her she is beautiful. Women’s minds don’t stop. We have to feel comfortable naked and not worry about cellulite or small breasts or fat thighs. It’s hard because we are bombarded constantly with messages if “be perfect or you are ugly”. A husband has to go overboard with compliments to get those thoughts out of his wife’s mind.

      Do not watch porn. Ever. No excuses.

      • BA

        What board games do you play? We’ve tried a couple “adult” games and they don’t fit our style.

  14. Erin U

    What my husband is still learning, is that just because I say no or do not have interest in sexual overtures doesn’t mean I am mad or annoyed with him….Even when I say I’m not mad.
    Also, childbirth can change how sex feels. After multiple births things can still change. Often for me it made sex less enjoyable because either my body wasn’t producing enough lubricant and it was painful or there was scarring that made things painful. Lots of synthetic lubricant after having a baby was a must for us, but it’s messier and often forgotten during a quickie or spontaneous encounter which made me dread sex for a while because of how painful it could be.

  15. Charity Eldred

    You know all that making out we did before we were married? Now that we can have sex, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to make out in the living room or the car anymore.

  16. Courtney

    Oral sexx
    Come on guys we love head too

  17. Sarah

    That intimacy begins outside of the bedroom. What happens inside the bedroom should be the climax of all the romance, emotional connection, and living life together that happens outside of the bedroom.

    That high frequency doesn’t equate with a healthy marriage and low frequency doesn’t equate with an unhealthy marriage.

  18. Antionette

    That women take longer to warm up. Not to give up finding what works and doesn’t when it comes to turning the wife on.

  19. Cassie L LanzillottI

    Slow down! Touch me with your finger tips. Kiss me,while sex is always great when you connect with me first.. oml the level of attraction is so much higher and intense.

  20. Tori

    Obviously, everyone has their own intimacy dynamic. For example, in my marriage, I would LOVE if he would initiate more and if he would share control when we were kissing instead of it always feeling like I am the one in control. I’d just appreciate more initiative. However, other marriages are the opposite. Sex drive dynamics are not black and white, one size fits all. Being intimate while being respectful of both spouse’s drives and interests is something that needs be learned. It’s not something that just happens out of nowhere or by accident. It takes effort. And that effort expands much farther than the bedroom. It expands to the way we treat each other; the way we listen to each other; and the way we share responsibilities, hopes, and dreams with each other. It expands to how we co-parent our children and advocate and support each other in our individual interests and church responsibilities. It’s not something we learn once and we’re done. Great intimacy in all aspects of marriage is the journey of a lifetime.

  21. Gina VanLoon

    How to have sex without driving full speed to orgasm. Learn to enjoy the journey.
    Ask for what you want and be willing to accept the answer for now. I lived 11 years believing my husband did not care for how I performed oral sex because he clammed up and never mentioned it. How to communicate with “I love it when you……”
    How to be resilient and willing to change things. Wives get bored too.

  22. Carol

    1. That non-sexual touching is necessary. Stop grabbing your wives butts all day long and touching her vagina constantly and then thinking that it equals intimacy and translates into sex later that night or sex in the next 5 minutes.

    2. That it is OKAY to take a breather from sex for a few days. It’s NOT the end of the world. Caring for your children and working outside of the home can be TIRING. Wives are humans who are wired differently from husbands. They MIGHT need a break every now and then.

    3. HOW to listen to what a wife wants without sexually or not. Just learn to listen. Then, learn how to take the knowledge you get and apply it to YOUR wife.

  23. Tina

    if they take charge with the kids or grab a towel while I’m folding laundry or help out some, it really makes you feel like you are a team and that transfers to the bedroom.

  24. Kara

    Just like they aren’t mind readers we aren’t either so it helps to tell us what you want or like. It’s all bout communicating in & out of the bedroom. Plus we are or can be just as open to trying new things without judging as they are. I have learned that as time goes on it can get boring if there aren’t new things added to the mix but just gotta try & find what is fun & works for the both of u to figure out what can be added but don’t ever be scared to try new things bc it keeps things interesting & helps keep the spark alive. Also keep an open mind bc there have been things I’ve thought I wouldn’t like but when we tried them they ended up being some of the things I’ve enjoyed the most so try everything at least once & then make a decision. You don’t really know if you like it until u actually try it.

  25. Lorna

    Eyes for me only, how deep the rejection is when they look elsewhere, ‘You look really good for a woman your age’ is not the best compliment as then I wonder who you have been looking at.

    • Lorna

      The energy level I have to do things around the home or to take to my work is also affected by the amount I perceive I am valued and precious to you.

      Take the time to learn my love language. If we both are bilingual in love languages it would be a lot better.

  26. Sarah

    I need proper communication way before initiating sex. If you’ve ignored me all day, or not been there when I’ve needed you, in not interested in making love

  27. Jason

    I’d say for men to make her the center of everything. Your focus should be getting her off before yourself as many times as possible. Compliment her always. Pay attention to things she may not say she likes (makes her feel dirty) but she actually does and you can tell by her physical response.
    Also I hope that there will be a women’s course teaching them. There are some things we wish we would ha e knew when first married (been married over 20 years). The first 10 years in my prime she had a testosterone level of 11. It ruined our physical relationship. We finally figured out the problem and fixed it now she is “normal” but my physicality has changed being in my 40’s. Sometimes a woman needs to know its not just her it could actually be a physical problem that can be fixed medically. If we would have known that as newly weds we’d have a better relationship now. We missed and didn’t get to have fun those honeymoon years and now are facing empty nesting.

  28. Lisa

    Women desire sex through an outpouring of their love and desire for you. Make her feel loved and desired out of the bedroom and it will turn up the heat inside of the bedroom (or whatever location you choose) ?

  29. Sarah

    Timing and response matter. If she’s an “early to bed, early to rise” woman, don’t roll into the bedroom late and anticipate a positive response. Read whether she’s truly tired or ready for your affections. Be as ready to adjust to her schedule as she should be to yours.

  30. Steffany

    I wish my husband viewed foreplay less like manipulating dials and switches to turn me on, and more like he’s fascinated with my body and soul.

    • Mindi

      Absolutely agree. I remind him I have other parts besides my breasts and vagina. I wish he would explore and find those other areas or new ones of arousal

  31. BA

    Sexuality during and after menopause should be an important topic to cover in another session, blog, etc. Menopause changes everything. We’ve been married 38 years and menopause about did us in. I think some men have a “mid-life” crisis because they don’t understand what’s going on physically, mentally and emotionally with their menopausal wives. (that’s not an excuse for such behaviour) I had no idea what to expect and in hindsight, that might have been a good thing….it was down right horrible at times. BUT….praise God for healing and our marriage is stronger than ever.

    • Ash

      Agreed! And things change for them as well even though they don’t really realize it sometimes!

  32. A

    Concept to talk about- sex starts in MY MIND. Let’s talk about ideas, plans, thoughts, what we are reading, things happening in the world and what God is doing in our lives before we go to the “sexy talk” that doesn’t really work for me-

  33. Amelia

    Sex starts in the mind piss me off or be rude I’d rather not even try. Sex might be ok but forget an orgasm because it won’t happen. That’s why it’s easier to have an orgasm with a stranger 100% of the time. They’ve not said anything hurtful. If the lights are off it’s easier to imagine you’re with a stranger.

    • Amelia

      Since I’ve been in that above situation many times as a lot of women have but won’t admit it you talk about this situation and learn from it. God helps you with these kinds of issues. The best of life would be having only one partner and learning what your wife and you need.

  34. Ashley Farmer

    I would love for my husband to flirt more and be more spontaneous and initiate sex . i find myself always coming on to him wanting to be more adventurous and when he doesn’t i feel rejected and not wanted. I would love for him to touch and caress and kiss more

  35. Elizabeth

    I am a person. Respect me as one. I’m not just the person you have sex with. I like doing things, but have other people who depend on me for their physical and emotional needs, especially if you won’t be bothered to do it. Their needs are more urgent because they can’t do it themselves. So share the responsibility for the little humans you made through the sex you want and you’ll take a huge step to turn me on. Plus, if I can refresh the things I want to do, like when we were dating, I feel more like a person, not a thing to be used. Depression and ADHD aren’t a reason to ignore these things. Just an excuse for being a jerk.

  36. VIcki

    My experience is that men fall into a routine when it comes to sex. First we do A, then B, then C. It gets so regimented. . I miss just making out and spontaneity. It gets especially bad when performance enhancing medicines are necessary and a woman never gets to listen to her body when it is time. It is whether the man has taken a pill or not. It is extremely frustrating. Whether I am in the mood or not never comes in to play. Also sex drives that are on different levels is horrible. There are a ton more women with the higher sex drive than the men than anybody ever talks about. Once a month just isn’t okay with me and it isn’t like there is anyone else I can turn to. It is the only thing no one else can do for me so what do I do when my husband isn’t interested for weeks at a time?

  37. Joy

    Getting upset and pouting just puts pressure on and is a huge turn off. Plus it makes me feel like an object. Also, suggestions like podcasts, books, shows, Dr’s… all make me feel broken and unacceptable as I am.

  38. Perky mom

    It would be really great if my husband knew how to bring me to orgasm. We’ve been married for 33 years, I’ve never experienced orgasm with him touching me. Men need to be taught the basics of how a women’s body works & how to give her pleasure. I’m tired of him experiencing all the pleasure! I would want to have sex more of I really enjoyed it.

  39. Brooke

    I know I am in the minority here, but I’m a high drive wife with a low drive husband. Maybe some training on how a husband can still make his wife feel pursued sexually even when he’s not in the mood. Romance your woman, initiate, find ways to pleasure her, and make her feel wanted, even if intercourse isn’t on the table. We’re totally understanding if you aren’t in the mood and are struggling to have an erection, there is absolutely no pressure on you to have intercourse. But still find other ways to make us feel loved sexually. Don’t be lazy.

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<h3>Dan Purcell</h3>

Dan Purcell

Dan and his wife Emily Purcell are the founders of Get Your Marriage On! They are on a mission to strengthen marriages by making lovemaking incredibly fun and deeply connecting. Dan is a sex coach. They are also the creators of the popular Intimately Us and Just Between Us apps that have been downloaded over 750,000 times. They are the host of the popular Get Your Marriage On! podcast with over 1 million listens. In addition to their coaching program, they host romantic retreat getaways for couples, and put on workshops on how to have a great sex life and deeper intimacy. Dan and Emily met in middle school and have been married for over 20 years and have 6 kids. Dan loves cracking dad jokes, running marathons, planning the next creative date night with his sweetheart, and enjoys the magnificent outdoors around their St George home.

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