Help, My Husband Is Sexually Clueless

by Gina Parris

Recently a reader commented on our post, “Hey Wives, is Sex Always On Your Terms?”  Her name is Joy and I loved her question and honesty so much, that I’m writing a whole post for it.  Her husband suffers from what I call the “Sexually Clueless Syndrome,” which is often the result of selfish sensate-focused sex, but can come in a variety of styles.

She says,

Thanks for this great article! Thing is, I already know why [sex is on my terms] – he is not sensitive to what gets me in the mood for sex. I’m wondering what am I supposed to do about this? I suspect that even if I tell him, he won’t be able to, because it’s just not his way. Then he’ll think he’s not right for me, or that I want to be with an ex, or some crazy stuff like that. And then I’ll have a much bigger problem on my hands. Please help! Thanks.

My answer:

Thank you for sharing your very honest issues here, Joy.

You are not alone. I read more than one study that suggests the average (whatever THAT is supposed to be) couple considers sex to be an act that consists of

1. Foreplay

2. Penetration

3. Orgasm (usually just for the male)

And that’s it. All that fun and excitement rolled together takes that  “average” couple a whopping 3 minutes from start to finish.  THREE MINUTES! Seriously, this is clearly a problem.

No wonder 81% of women would much rather have a massage than “sex.”
The men are clueless and the women are not speaking up.

Hopefully we can all stop thinking of sex as some singular act, and instead see it as the erotic part of a whole love life that is celebrated continually. Romance, intimacy friendship and commitment combine for a sexual connection that is completely unique to husband and a wife. When it’s all consummated in an event of complete presence and generosity and pleasure, then that is great sex.

Regardless of whether or not your mate falls into the 3 minute blunder category, let me address some things you so aptly said on behalf of millions of women:

1. You refrain from saying what you want because you expect a bad outcome from the conversation.

Here’s a secret: We can not ever control the outcome of anything!

Sure, there’s a chance it might go badly, but there is also a chance that at least he will understand why in the world he is rejected so often and now he will be empowered to make a choice. He can either

-Get angry

-Shut down

-Refuse to change

-Or he may be excited to discover that you do indeed have a side of you that has sexual interest with him.

What to do?

Share your thoughts when you are not entangled in a sexually uncomfortable situation.

What won’t work:

When he is coming on to you, shouting “Noooooooo! UGH! Everything you do turns me off and I would rather have a root canal than have you jump me! You insensitive beast.”

Obviously, this approach will indeed bring the bad outcome you envision.

What to try instead:

Leaving yourself completely unattached to the outcome, take his hand, sit next to him on the couch with no cell phone or TV on and say with your womanly smile…

“I know you feel like sex is always on my terms and we don’t do it often enough, but I DO have sexy dreams about you. Can I just share one of my favorites with you? I’ve sort of been afraid, because I don’t know what you’ll say.”

A few things are happening here:

A. He’s showing up in your dreams. That’s a good feeling.

B. You are being sexually vulnerable and creating some sexual tension and risk. That is arousing.

C. Phrasing it as a “dream” makes your desires a little more detached and safe – less like a personal attack and more like an opportunity.

Even if all he says is, “Uhhh, I don’t know.” You still go for it.

Share your vision of what would make you aroused and what exactly it feels like to be turned on and to totally enjoy the experience of being with him. If you describe this with pleasure that makes your cheeks flush while you’re even talking about it, he will have hope. Especially when it’s clear that this is about you and him.

By all means, speak up! Then – just get up and go about your day. The ball is in his court now. If he makes a move, great. If he goes and turns on the TV, at least he can’t claim ignorance. Maybe nothing changes right away, but you have said your piece, and you are a strong and sexy lady.

2. Another totally different idea is about this statement:

“He is totally insensitive to what gets me in the mood for sex.”

There is another empowering element to reveling in your own sexuality. That is when you have the ability to take charge of your own sex drive, turn your self on, and enjoy his body because you deserve to feel great.

In that case you may want to be painfully blunt:

“The reason I don’t always want sex with you is because it’s all about you and it bores me to pieces. But tonight, it’s all about me! Let me show you.”

You can then enjoy him sexually as you learn to speak up more and more. Just the fact that you enjoy your self with him will possibly turn him on or shake him up, and that’s a good start.

For now give your self permission to BE sexual, to speak up and to enjoy the little things that make married life a gift.

Next time we’ll talk more specifically about what the guys CAN do to help their wives get turned on. Come on gentlemen – if ever there were a time to be coachable for your own sakes it would be now!

If you have any tips on communicating your needs, turning on your mate, or enjoying sex that’s less than perfect, share below.


Gina Parris is an international speaker, performance coach, wife, mother of four, and a champion for the Sexy Marriage. She is dedicated to helping people heal their sexual and relational issues. Throughout the past 28 years, Gina has served on staff of several large churches and encouraged thousands of people -privately, in groups, through television, radio and other media. She also speaks to organizations on topics dealing with home and work balance. Gina combines the best of Sports Psychology, Energy Therapy and Biblical promises to help people enjoy a Love Life marked by victory.

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