Are You in the Mood for Sex?

Sink into the deliciousness of sex by redefining what it means to be "in the mood."

“Do you feel like having sex?” he would ask me.

Most times, I would seriously think about it: Do I feel aroused in any way? Is there something else I need or want to be doing instead? Do I feel connected to Big Guy right now? Do I at least not feel disconnected from him? Do I feel like having sex?

And out loud, I would tell the truth: “No, I don’t feel like having sex right now.”


Big Guy stopped at the grocery store on his way home from work a few days ago. As he was putting groceries away in the fridge (yes, I know how fortunate I am to have a husband that does that!), I broke away from putting dishes away to scratch his back.

He stopped what he was doing and completely melted.

He hadn’t been expecting a back scratch. He hadn’t even particularly wanted one—but as soon as he was in the middle of one, he experienced the deliciousness of having his back scratched and he wanted more.

Walking into the house, he didn’t have a particular desire for a backrub—but as soon as I evoked that desire in him, he enjoyed it immensely.

Sex is similar with a lot of women. We don’t go around in a state of arousal thinking about whether we’re in the mood for sex. We are so busy multi-tasking that sex isn’t the most prominent thing in our minds. It may not even be on the mental back-burner.

When our husbands ask us if we desire sex, the answer quite truthfully is no.


Sex should be mutually desired by both parties—but perhaps we need to be a bit more generous about what that actually means.

For most of my marriage, I thought desire meant this: if I’m not already somewhat aroused when he initiates sex, then I am not in the mood. Therefore, we shouldn’t have sex.

I know first-hand that this attitude can hurt a marriage.

Marriage is a sexual relationship. Sex isn’t the only part of marriage, and it may not be the most important part of marriage (although I’ve seen vigorous debate about this). However, sex is a vital part of what makes a marriage a marriage.

Our sex life revolved around my sexual arousal and interest. This was unfair to my husband. “No” was the default answer.

It likewise would have been unfair for our sex life to revolve around my husband’s sexual arousal and interest, with “now” being the default expectation.

I was loving myself more than my husband. I was self-centered and thought only about what I wanted at the time.

Certainly there were times when my “no” was a reflection of exhaustion or illness. I confess, though, that more often than not, my “no” was simply because I didn’t feel like having sex.

If I wasn’t already in the mood, sex simply didn’t happen.

What if I had changed how I thought about what it means to be in the mood and feel like having sex?

When Big Guy would ask me if I felt like having sex, I was thinking of all the wrong questions.

Instead of Do I feel aroused in any way?, I should have asked, Could I become aroused?

Instead of Is there something else I need or want to be doing instead?, I should have asked Can I give my husband thirty minutes of my time? Is there a reason the other things need to be done right now?

Instead of Do I feel connected to Big Guy right now? Do I at least not feel disconnected from him?, I should have asked myself Will I feel more connected if I have sex?

Instead of Do I feel like having sex?, I should have asked Will I enjoy sex after we get going?

Instead of defining “in the mood” as a reflection of my physical arousal, I could have redefined it as “wanting to connect with my husband.”

“Do you feel like having sex?” With a redefinition that included the connection outcome of sex and not just the physical readiness, the answer might well have been “yes” a lot more than it was.


Many of us find that even though we don’t physically desire sex or have it even in the back of our minds, if we allow ourselves to experience it, we can enjoy it a great deal.

My husband didn’t feel like having his back scratched the other day—but as soon as he sank into the experience, he felt very loved and content.

Quite a few of the times I answered “no,” the answer just as easily could have been “yes”—and I would have been very, very happy that it was.

The next time your husband asks if you feel like having sex, think before you respond. Is it possible that you will enjoy sex once you get going? Could you sink into the deliciousness of sex? Will your marriage benefit from you and your husband feeling connected to each other?

Be generous in your definition of “in the mood” and see what a difference it can make.

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20 Comments on “Are You in the Mood for Sex?”

  1. I love this, because I think so many women don’t feel in the ‘mood’ hardly at all- including ME!! And really? Just like you so beautifully shared… if we make the decision with the intention to stop our ‘to do’ list and commit to our husband for that time.. we will- we WILL embrace and enjoy it and surely get in the mood!!

    I never regret it. It always always fills me, fills him, fills us. I try to never say no. 🙂

  2. As a man, I wish I would have said, ” I need to be connected with you” instead of ” do you feel like sex”.

    1. Would not have made much difference long run. If that’s all we say, it just becomes “do you feel like sex”, no matter what it is.

      We need to learn how to initiate better. We need to exert some more effort because no “catch phrase” will work.

  3. @HH And wives/low drive spouses need to learn to better receive, or hear, or interpret the initiation.

  4. In my personal experience, if I initiate sex and my spouse is not in the mood (tells me this), I stop foreplay. Otherwise my spouse considers it rape if I continue. Are there other women who think like this? (Note: no child or sexual abuse in my spouse’s past).

    1. If your spouse considers it rape, then it is right for you to stop. I would not want my husband to touch me sexually after I said no. However, I would appreciate him continuing to verbally express his interest in connecting with me. I am speaking just for myself, and I didn’t always feel that way. It is important for spouses to truly know each other. Whether any other woman feels the way your wife does or not, what matters is your wife’s views.

  5. What if you just don’t enjoy sex. I have sex with my husband when he desires but I truthfully don’t enjoy it. It’s now getting to the point that I can’t even fake interest anymore and my husband has noticed. I love my husband. We are great partners, friends, and he’s a good father. I just don’t enjoy our sex life.

    1. Sex does so much good for the marriage and for uniting and bonding a couple that I think it’s worth working on enjoying it–even though it isn’t easy to do.

      First, I encourage you to look for things you can enjoy during sex–even if it is non-sexual stuff. When I was learning to enjoy sex, I paid attention to things like how I enjoyed the feel of the hair on my husband’s arms and being the focus of his attention. They weren’t sexual things, but they were things I could appreciate during sex. As I focused on those things and lost some of my tension about sex, I realized that I was starting to enjoy sex a little bit.

      Has there been a time in your marriage when you did enjoy your sex life? What changed? And what would make sex more enjoyable for you?

      Sex is the means of maintaining the one-flesh relational aspect of marriage, so it is important to figure out. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be working to improve things so you can both be happy with your sex life.

  6. Haven’t been here in awhile. Missed the encouragement and this was needed. There’s a reward in heaven for those who love Him and keep His commandments. That’s helped me. It’s an eternal blessing to die to laziness and selfish excuses (speaking for myself).
    In the mood to change diapers? Not really.
    Your right on about the connection. It’s needed and there’s no way around it.

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