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 weird!
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.