They Do Exist.

Ask A Married Woman: What Assumptions About Sex Were You Wrong About?

Editor’s Note: This month we are answering our readers’ questions to married women. Last week we talked about physically painful sex, initiating with guys, going from virgin to sexy, and what questions you should ask before you get married. To view all the posts, go here! – Lauren

Valerie Bryant: The media and Cosmo magazine taught me that men are horny beasts who cannot be tamed, and so I assumed my new husband would want (even need) sex constantly (daily, or even hourly) to be properly satisfied. Turns out men are human beings just like us women. Sometimes they’re tired, hungry, or don’t feel well or have something on their mind or actually just want to watch the game, and the mood isn’t going to be striking left and right at all hours of the day and night. Even more comforting: that’s okay.

Katy Hill: I’ll just say this: it’s awesome, but not like it seems in the movies. I recommend talking to a woman a few years older than you, who’s married, who you feel comfortable talking about this to and ask them to tell you what they wish they knew beforehand. I did and got real, honest answers and it helped me set the right expectations. There are already too many expectations when it comes to sex, no need to let TV and movies complicate it even more.

Alyssa Agee: I thought sex had to take a long time. I know, that may sound silly but I always pictured it being very time-consuming and that felt like a lot of pressure to me. In truth, sometimes foreplay is overrated and there can be so much joy and satisfaction in a quick romp.

Carley Lollie: I thought all men wanted was sex all day every day – but sometimes I want it when he doesn’t initiate. I thought lingerie would turn him on more than normal clothes, but for us that’s not always the case. I thought it would instantly be easy but it takes time to find things that make either person happy.

Tamara Lunardo: When we were newly married, I held the painful, wrong assumption that if your husband doesn’t try to have sex with you all the time, he must not be interested in you. And I think that was part of a larger wrong assumption that men are all naturally confident about sex. Good, totally honest communication finally cleared all of that up!

Sarah Bessey: I didn’t realize there are seasons to sexuality. There will be seasons of crazy, wonderful sex, and there will be seasons when it’s not as important or primary, or one of you needs more or less etc., and then it all cycles back around again. And it gets better and better and better, the more fearless and comfortable and fun you become. Also, I completely underestimated the importance of laughter and adventure.

Sarah Asay: Ok, so in the movies and on TV, it’s always super hot in the beginning with everyone knowing exactly what to do, then it fizzles and after a short time it’s time to find someone new. Well, it turns out (prepare for a shocker!) TV is wrong. So wrong. We’ve totally been lied to with this lie that sex in marriage is boring, dull and that sex with strangers is awesome and perfect. For 25 years, I totally bought into this lie as well. I <3 sex with my husband. Even after almost 6 years. Lindsay Satterfield: I thought adapting from virginity to sex with my husband would be easy because I was married and that’s what sex was intended for. It was definitely awkward to be naked in front of him for a while!

Caitlyn Stiffler: I always thought that you have to have sex with a guy to keep him, until I met my husband. We struggled with it for the first few months, but after I admitted what was going on, he was so understanding and willing to help me be comfortable in any way he could. I never thought I’d be able to be honest about how I was feeling in regards to the bedroom.

Lauren Dubinsky: I thought sex would be the “best” part of the marriage. Turns out having a best friend who loves you all the time is the best part of marriage. Like Valerie, I also thought guys want sex 24/7. I also wasn’t expecting my thoughts/emotions to be part of sex to the extent they are. I [unfortunately] had sex before marriage, so there was always a lot of stress or anxiety or thoughts I kept to myself regarding it. It’s crazy being able to talk to my husband about my thoughts, without having to be embarrassed.

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26 Responses

  1. Assumptions I made… That I would be just as horny as I was when we were engaged!

    Before the wedding we often talked about how much sex we would be having, and once the honeymoon was over, and real life hit, my libido went down. He was shocked I didn't want to do it every single day multiple times a day anymore. I was shocked that he still did. He felt cheated out of the picture I had painted for him, and I felt like he was being selfish. We had to work through a lot, but I can happily say that we've been married just over a year, and have a healthy, happy sex life!

    July 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

  2. Faith N

    Ever seen those TV shows (Bones, for example) where a couple that has obviously just finished making love is cozy in bed flirting, and immediately segway into another round? That's way less realistic than I thought it was! I'd known that it takes a guy at least 15 minutes to recharge, but when my husband & I were first married it would take him about 24 hours to be ready again. It made me feel super insecure, but it had nothing to do with me at all.

    Ladies, forget everything anyone has ever told you is "normal" about sex. You and your spouse get to set your own normal with whatever makes you happy. <3

    July 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm

  3. SHOCK OF 2010: It wasn’t HORRIBLE. I had convinced myself that it was going to be awful, uncomfortable, awkward, and impossible. Probably because I can be all of those things. I just didn’t see how it was going to WORK. But in the end, my new husband took such care with me, I was so overwhelmed with joy to be married to him, and it was wonderful (gag, I know, but it’s true!). Not awkward, just lovely. Oh, the sex was kinda painful, but we knew it would be and talked through it. It was not “great sex” by the world’s definition, but it was truly intimate and we definitely found ways to enjoy ourselves. We just had fun. No pressure. Highly recommended!

    July 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm

  4. So many of ya'll already said it – the idea that guys think about sex all the time & want it ALL the time. Was it Seinfeld where I learned that a guy will always choose sex over sleep? I think so. But, it is not true, that's for sure. Even though my pastor just cracked a similar joke. "What do you call a sex addict? A man." ARGH!!!! Being a man does not make one a sex addict! Please stop the jokes about this!
    Once you know that it is not FACT that a man will want to have sex constantly, you won't feel as rejected by lack of desire. I pretty much cried any time I thought he'd be interested, and then he wasn't really. Almost 8 years late, I still cry when that happens sometimes. But, that is mostly because I am a cry baby. Now I know we aren't a twisted dysfunctional couple. We aren't doomed for disaster when my desire is stronger than his.

    July 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm

  5. Cec

    Here’s what I would like to know. Im a single woman who has had LOTS of sex, with MANY different partners. So I know all about it. But what I would like to know is, is there any ladies out there who were like me but got married and are still married? How does the sex change from singleness to marriage? Does it? Do I have anything to worry about?

    July 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

  6. Cec

    Ya that makes sense. Thanks guys, I’ve been in a relationship where I really loved the guy and was really open with him in every way, and ya that was the best sex, and it got better over time. So I know that happens. I left him because we definitely didn’t have the same values and I knew I wanted better so whoever I marry will have the same values as me, we’ll have a deeper connection. I’ve been in counseling and ill probably go back. And premarital counseling has ALWAYS been on the top of my list so that definitely will be happening. I dont understand how people don’t get it?

    And im a pretty open person so ill be ok with telling him what I want. The only thing im truly fearful of is me wanting it more than him…i would hate that

    July 17, 2012 at 2:47 am

  7. Talitha

    Being completely honest, there are times you will want it more than him. But are going to be just as many times when he’ll want it more than you. And there will be times when you’re both on exactly the same page. Those are the best ;).

    To combat this, my husband and I made an agreement that if he or I want to have sex and the other person doesn’t, we get to try and arouse the other person by making out for about 10 min. If after that time, we’re both in the mood, awesome! If one of us is still not, then we agree to take care of the other person’s need. Cause let’s be honest, making out for 10 min is going to give my husband something that if not taken care of, might cause him pain later. So I agree to take care of it if I’m still not in the mood after we make out. This goes both ways. There are only a few times we’ve need to do this, but he’s really understanding if I’m tired, have a lot on my mind, can’t get out of my own head, etc. And I understand too. We’ve agreed ahead of time that this isn’t something to take personally.

    We also try and plan to have sex. It sounds unromantic but it does build some anticipation. And we try to make the decision shortly after getting home from work so we know to DVR that show, make a quick dinner, have that important conversation now, etc. Planning it helps a lot. Saves time and stress and we still get a full night’s sleep :).

    July 17, 2012 at 11:02 am

  8. Nicole

    I completely underestimated the importance and power of talking through past trauma/abuse. My husband knew about my past, but that didn't mean that he knew all the details or what would trigger negative emotions during sex. And he still doesn't, but I've found it to be so helpful to tell him when something has made me upset or uncomfortable instead of just saying "no" and hoping that he'll drop it. He has been so compassionate and gentle with my heart every time, and I've been amazed at how God has used the intimacy to heal so many broken parts of my heart regarding my past and sex.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm

  9. Anonymous

    I have a question. Why does it seem "easier" for people who sleep with their boyfriends or girlfriends/do other things to be naked around each other and getting it on without feeling incredibly awkward? I'm not saying that if you sleep with your significant other that it's easy to be vulnerable. I was in a relationship where we were very physical and I only felt awkward and vulnerable the first time. But some of these women say how they felt awkward the first time etc. and I don't get it. When you're married you're in a committed relationship- better than just dating…shouldn't it be less awkward?

    July 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm

  10. Different anonymous

    Erica, Tiffany, and Lauren have it straight on. Do it, girl! You will feel sooooo much better about yourself in general.

    July 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm

  11. Haley

    I have been married less than a year, and neither my husband nor I were virgins. But as so many have said I had totally bought into the lie that men are sex-obsessed beasts that go insane if your dress is shorter than 4 inches above the knee (and that idea was perpetuated with my previous relationship).
    But my husband isnt that way. He doesnt like me to be obviously seductive, and he wants sex less than 1/2 as much as I do.

    Like i previous commenter, I took this to mean, he didnt love me, wasn't attracted to me, had had sexier partners that he had loved more, etc.

    But with his patience and help, I'm learning. All the ideas I had of how to turn him on and satisfy him (fed by Cosmo, other men, and porno) were generalizations largely taken from the margins of society.

    August 24, 2012 at 8:52 am

  12. JustMe

    I expected my husband would want sex. Men get married are supposed to fancy the woman they CHOOSE to marry after all. How wrong I was and how unbearably rejected I feel.

    September 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm

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