An Unconventional Request


How should you respond when your husband request something unusual in bed?

Note: If you are just beginning the journey to healthy sexual intimacy in your marriage, you may not be ready for this post just yet. Check out my Resources page, and start where you are. 

From time to time I get emails from wives who say something like, “He wants to do this funky thing. Is this okay? And if it’s okay, how on earth do I actually do it?”

These requests typically fall into four areas:

1. Pretending to be something/someone you are not.

This could include being in charge of the entire sexual act (perhaps even telling him when he can orgasm or delaying it in some way), role playing (such as meeting in a hotel lobby and pretending to be strangers), or being a stripper for an audience of one.

2. Wearing something.

This can range from something subtle like thong underwear or his dress shirt to leather or stilettos. Your husband may have specific things he would like to do involving the clothing: literally rip the buttons off your blouse as he removes it from you, “accidentally” splash your chest with water when you’re wearing a white t-shirt and no bra, or keeping your sexy boots on (but nothing else) while you’re having sex.

3. Making physical contact in a way that is not typical for you.

This might be a different position, bringing him to climax with your feet or breasts, ejaculating onto a particular part of your body, or anal play.

4. Having sex in a different context.

Examples of this include having sex in a different location (such as outside or in the car), making a video recording of the two of you having sex, or going to a cheap motel with hourly rates.

Many women find the idea of anything new to be a little outside their comfort zone. When it’s something that seems a little weird or unusual, it’s hard to know how to respond.

If your husband approaches you with a sexual request that strikes you as unusual, keep this in mind: it is a good sign!

Even if you’re uncomfortable with what he is asking, his request shows that he trusts you with his sexuality. It means that he loves being with you sexually and that he wants to share something new with you. A response that communicates your love for him (“I’m glad you took the risk of sharing that with me”) is better than one that suggests that you think he’s a pervert (“ew, why would anyone want to do that?”).

Is it okay?

Prayerfully consider two questions.

  • Is it sin? If the bible prohibits it, then it is off-limits. (See The Marriage Bed for an article about what’s okay and what isn’t.) If it isn’t prohibited, still consider whether it violates any scriptural principles. Be careful not to twist scripture to make the request sound unbiblical just because the request makes you uncomfortable.
  • Is it harmful to either one of you or to your marriage? This isn’t always a simple thing to figure out. If the act would cause severe pain (for the purpose of causing pain rather than enhancing pleasure), if it would physically damage either one of you, or if it would cause mental or emotional anguish for either of you, then it isn’t a good idea. But what about something that might be physically uncomfortable for a while but not painful? What if it reminds you of a traumatic experience from your past? What about something that comes to close to a sin issue for one of you? Consider your own anatomies, health challenges, heart wounds, and sin issues. What is perfectly fine in one marriage may be harmful in another.

Something that is sin, hurts one of you, or creates temptation for either of you can hinder your intimacy and have a negative effect on your marriage.

But it’s so strange!

Most of us have an idea about what’s normal when it comes to sex, even though we may not agree on the specifics. Anything that doesn’t fit into our idea of what is normal can seem strange and even perverted: Is something wrong with my husband that he wants such a strange thing? Is something wrong with me that he isn’t happy with the way things are?

Yes, sometimes an “out there” sexual desire can be the result of past trauma or a problem. If you suspect that is the case, then communicate your concerns with your husband so the two of you can work to deal with the issue.

Most of the time, though, I don’t think an unusual desire is a reason for concern. For most men, the desire for something new is because they like adventure. It doesn’t reflect a dissatisfaction with you; they just want to share something new with you. Sometimes an idea only seems weird just because it’s outside our own comfort zone.

Unconventional sexual desires can be from some pretty typical experiences. They may be related to his early awareness of his sexuality. They could be  way of helping him feel emotionally close to you because of the trust that one of you will have to have in the other.

The fact that it is unconventional  doesn’t necessarily mean that it is wrong.

Sexual intimacy in your marriage is just for the two of you. You don’t truly know whether anyone else is doing it, and there is no way others will know what happens in your marriage bed unless you tell them.

As surprising as the request may be, the weirdness factor doesn’t have to play a role in whether you try it out.

So what do I do?

If your husband’s request is not sinful or damaging, it’s time to figure out how to actually do it. (If you find yourself resisting a particular act, read Do I Have To? for suggestions to help you understand your resistance and work with your husband to decide how to handle this.)

Ask your husband what he has in mind.

Is his desire vague, or does he have a whole scenario pictured in his head? If he wants you to masturbate for him, does he just want to hold you while you take care of yourself, or does he imagine walking into the bedroom, “catching” you masturbate, and bringing himself to orgasm while watching you do the same? If he wants you to dress up as a nurse, does he want you to wear the costume while you’re having sex, or does he want a sponge bath with a happy ending? Does he want to have the anticipation of knowing you’re planning something, or does he want to be surprised?

Figure out some baby steps.

If you aren’t ready to fully fill his request, what is one small step you could take in the right direction?

  • If he wants you to wear a full leather outfit, wear one small piece of leather along with something you like to wear. Or wear all-black lingerie.
  • If he wants a foot job (bringing him to orgasm with your feet), let him give you a foot massage as part of foreplay. Use your foot to caress him on his leg or rear end during intercourse.
  • If he wants you to stimulate his prostate using anal penetration, begin by spending time caressing his buttocks.

See this post for more suggestions.


Trying things out in small ways can help you build up courage to do it for real.

  • When you are having sex, imagine yourself or your husband doing it in the way he’s requested. Picture yourselves in your back yard, imagine that it is your hand rather than his, think the words he wants you to say, and so on. Connecting these thoughts to your own sexual arousal will help you when you are ready to actually do it.
  • If he’d like you to do a dance for him, try to dance when you’re alone so your body gets comfortable with the movements.
  • If he wants you to do something non-sexual as part of his request (such as feeding him while you’re in a French maid outfit), work on doing that in a non-sexual context (such as feeding him a few bites at the family dinner table).
  • If clothing is involved, try wearing it when you’re alone and allow yourself to think sexual thoughts.

Get your stuff together.

If his request involves props or clothing, get them now, even if you aren’t even close to ready yet.

  • If your husband wants you to wear something in particular, have him take you shopping (online or at the mall) so he can help pick it out.
  • If his request involves a clothing item that may be damaged, go to the thrift store and get several inexpensive versions just for sexy time.
  • If body paint or temporary tattoos will be involved, get them now. (This is a great time of year to get this stuff.)
  • If your husband wants you to dance for him, begin putting together your play list.



If your husband makes a request that seems a bit unconventional or weird, don’t just dismiss it. Instead, work with your husband to prayerfully determine how to respond to this request.

Doing something new together can be good for your relationship. Having a shared secret that no one else knows about can strengthen your bond. Showing your husband that you want him to be sexually happy can help him feel loved.

The bottom line is this: doing something that isn’t sinful or harmful—even if it seems a bit weird—can end up adding to the intimacy in your marriage—and that is a good thing.

Related posts:

How should you respond when your husband request something unusual in bed?

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12 Comments on “An Unconventional Request”

  1. It can be shocking to wives’s sometimes what their husband’s want out of them in the bedroom. It is always a good idea to give it a try if it isn’t immoral, or painful. Painful is definitely something to be aware of, be it physical or mental.

  2. It’s hard for me to reach out of my comfort zone mentally and emotionally. Hy husband has cheated on me so I always question when he asked for things that are different if it is because she did that for him and he misses it. I have expressed my thoughts and feeling about this to him so he knows but I need more time and he gets impatient. I keeping praying for both of us and don’t seem to be getting any answers. I feel caught at a crossroads, allow myself to try what he wants and risk getting hurt or not try and risk alienating him emotionally if it really has nothing to do with his past affairs.

    1. I’m sorry for the hurt you are trying to work through. It is going to take time to rebuild trust–and it may be that you have to act in trust even when you don’t feel it. Your husband should be extending patience and grace during the first part of your healing–but my guess is that no matter how long he is patient about not asking for new things, at some point you will have to step out in trust and vulnerability. Are the two of you working with a pastor or counselor who can guide you in how to rebuild trust and intimacy in your marriage?

  3. What if your husband wants you to repeatedly engage in something you have told him that you didn’t like and that was painful for you.

    1. That can be a little tricky. You absolutely should not be expected to do something that is painful. It is unloving for your husband to pressure you for an act that is painful. If his response to your “no, that hurts” is to pout or withhold affection, that is also unloving. It would be good for the two of you to address whether this is taking a toll on your relationship. If he is not pressuring you but is continuing to express his desire, that is okay. His desire hasn’t gone away, and he is being honest with you about what he wants.

      On the other hand, some sexual activities can be done in a way that doesn’t cause pain. Angle, timing, the state of arousal, and position can make something that is painful in some circumstances quite pleasurable in others. When a couple is at an impasse–where he keeps asking for it and she keeps saying no–I think it is worth the effort to better understand the act and whether there is way to do it without pain. I outline a process for that in this post. It is a process that I have gone through myself. Something that is very painful in some circumstance is tolerable (and sometimes very enjoyable) in other circumstances. I did a lot of research, figured out some small steps I could take toward the act, and came up with a plan for how we would handle it if it got difficult for me. Changing my views about the act (my research helped me with this) actually made a difference, too. Feeling resentful about doing something I didn’t want to made me tense up–which, of course, made the pain worse. Being more relaxed made a huge difference.

      If your research, small steps, and attempts to prevent pain don’t help, then it is something that you should set aside for a few years–but then be sure to revisit it, because what is painful now may not be painful in five years. A loving and good-willed husband should be able to recognize your genuine efforts and make a decision to set aside that desire for a time. You are more important than any one act.

      1. We have tried this several times in many different ways with the same outcome.I get no pleasure out of it and he thinks that is alright as long as he does.He tries to tell that it will be better everytime.It’s not and I’m beginning to resent his constantly asking.It’s gotten to the point that I no longer become aroused at all when we are intimate.He doesn’t seem to care as long as he is satisfied.I do not turn down his requests for sex just this one act.It has gotten to the point that if we didn’t never have sex again I wouldn’t care.

  4. My question is a bit of a tangent, and mostly for any men reading.

    When a man gets an idea from an outside sexual stimulus and he wants to experience that with his wife, does the original stimulus reenact itself in his mind?

    For example, he is standing in the subway and the guy next to him is watching a Playboy video of a busty young woman in a white t shirt standing in a running shower. No doubt about it, that is sexy. Husband sees it, finds it erotic, and wants to see that with his wife. So, he comes home from work, suggests it without disclosing the source of the idea, and wife agrees. So, while he is watching her in the bathroom, is it all about her? Or is she just a stand-in for the original source?

    I can’t tell you how many times my husband has seen something sexy or erotic and tried it out on me and it falls short. Like a piece of lingerie on a tall, busty model. It looks smoking on her, but on petite, small-chested me it doesn’t look so good and he is visibly disappointed. I feel like it is about the feeling he got from her and I am just a living substitute who doesn’t measure up.

    Having our husbands consistently sexually aroused by other women and situations is a hard pill to swallow. I would feel better if I knew that despite the arousal initially unbiddenly and naturally coming from another woman, his attention and focus is entirely in his wife.

    1. When a man gets an idea from an outside sexual stimulus and he wants to experience that with his wife, does the original stimulus reenact itself in his mind?

      I would be interested to know the answer to this as well, but I don’t think that is the real issue for you. The problem isn’t what pops into your husband’s head or where he gets his ideas. In my opinion, the problem is that he is comparing you and not appreciating the real woman he has in front of him. I think a lot of men would say that even if an idea comes from elsewhere, they would push the image out of their heads and enjoy their wife.

      It looks smoking on her, but on petite, small-chested me it doesn’t look so good and he is visibly disappointed. I feel like it is about the feeling he got from her and I am just a living substitute who doesn’t measure up.

      It’s time for a good conversation with your husband (preferably with the guidance of a pastor or counselor) about sexual expectations–both his and yours. I don’t think other men’s responses are going to help you in your marriage.

  5. I will say that in my case, and I believe most other husbands, when outside sexual stimulus gets into my head I think of past experiences with my wife. If the stimulus leads to intimacy with her, I am focused only on her. I don’t have the brain capacity to be with my wife and think about or compare her to someone else.

    1. That’s my understanding based on what other men have said. Even if an image of another woman pops into their head, the warm live woman they’re with trumps the remembered image every time.

  6. I saw this post a couple of weeks ago, and can’t seem to get it out of my head for some reason.

    Why it is so easy for you to believe your husband is fantasizing about a model from a video when he is with you yet so hard to believe he is fantasizing about you when he is watching the video. Of course he is visibly disappointed. He has been picturing you wearing this sexy lingerie. It took all the courage he had to ask you to wear it, and now while you are together all you can think about is this model. YOU are the one fantasizing about the model, and whether you mention it or not, he can tell you aren’t there thinking about him. Do you think he didn’t know what you looked like? He knows and he wants to see you and be with you!

    Men don’t need an “outside sexual stimulus” to get ideas. We have plenty of ideas on our own. Most men who feel the need to look at porn don’t shop through it like a catalog. They look for something that is already in their mind and go straight to what they like. That’s why porn sites are divided into categories like “Busty” “Lingerie” “Plump” etc. Men already have ideas in their heads of what they want, and they usually would prefer to do these things with their wives, but have come to expect a no when they ask. So they settle for porn. That model has nothing on YOU in your husband’s eyes. NOTHING!!! You are the mother of his children…his best friend… He knows what you look like, and he would not change a thing. If that model knocked on the front door wearing that same outfit he would send her away.

    We appreciate women of all shapes and sizes, but most men only really want their wives.

    Women seem to have this misunderstanding a lot. It is like going to the mall. A man drives to the mall, goes directly to the store he needs, finds the item, checks out and goes home. A woman drives to the mall and goes from store to store looking for something to buy. Men don’t even go to the store unless they need something.

    I hope that gives you some insight.

    1. What you say seems to be true for most men. However, Libl’s previous comments on this blog (and on others) suggest that it may not be true for her husband. Some of the comments she reports him saying indicate that while he doesn’t need outside sexual stimulus, he prefers it.

      I do have to take issue with what you say about the mall. I can’t stand shopping. I’m the one who wants to go in only when I need something and then leave as quickly as possible. My husband, however, wants to comparison shop and see what’s available. 🙂

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