Don't Underestimate Your Wife's Sex Drive 1

A new study presents data suggesting that husbands underestimate their wives’ sexual desire.

In 3 dyadic studies, we provide evidence that men in established romantic relationships err in the direction of the opposite bias and underperceive their romantic partner’s sexual desire. We also demonstrate that this underperception bias is functional (particularly for men) in that it is associated with their partner feeling more satisfied and committed to the relationship. In addition, people are particularly likely to underperceive their partner’s desire on days when they are motivated to avoid sexual rejection, and men’s underperception bias is, in part, accounted for by men’s higher general levels of sexual desire than women.

Translation: it’s true that a wife often has a lower sex drive than her husband, however, the husband still frequently underestimates his wife’s sexual interest because he doesn’t enjoy having a sexual advance rejected.

XX Factor puts it this way:

The researchers found that, on a regular basis, men significantly underperceived the degree of their female partners’ sexual desire, while women consistently made accurate judgments about how much their male partners wanted sex. Among diary-keeping couples, on days when men underestimated their female partners’ libido, the women showed higher levels of relationship satisfaction.

Basically, when a wife has high relationship satisfaction she wants more sex — but apparently husbands aren’t good at noticing when their wives have high satisfaction. Here are some ideas:

  • Wife: make sure your husband knows when you’re happy with the state of your relationship! He probably already knows when you aren’t happy, but tell him when you are.
  • Husband: when your wife expresses affection and happiness with you, consider that an opportunity to initiate.

This doesn’t seem complicated, but apparently a lot of us are missing the obvious.

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Create the Habit of Daily Sex 2

It can be hard to consistently find time and energy for sex, and yet we know that the best way to have great sex with your spouse is to have more sex. We get a lot of emails from husbands and wives who want more sex, but for all sorts of reasons it just doesn’t happen. It’s easy to blame your spouse, or to “try harder”, but there’s a tool available to you that you may not have considered and is guaranteed to work: creating a habit.

When was the last time you forgot to brush your teeth? Or put on clothes? Or how to drive to work? You’ve been doing these things for years or decades, and you basically never forget. Sometimes you even drive to work on accident when you mean to go somewhere else! These things are all habits, and you do them easily every day without thinking. They enhance your life, keep you healthy, and satisfy your needs. Bad habits are easily acquired, but good habits don’t just happen: someone creates them. Getting dressed and brushing your teeth seem routine, but your parents worked hard to create those habits for you! In the same way, you can intentionally create the good habit of daily sex with your spouse.

First of all, consider: does your marriage have a bad habit of assuming that you won’t have sex? This is pretty common for married couples. The expectation is set that they won’t have sex unless someone initiates it. The baseline assumption is no sex. That’s a bad habit! Fortunately, the best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit.

Ok, so how do we build a good habit? Tom Bartow has identified three phases of habit formation that we need to recognize in order to be successful.

Phase 1: THE HONEYMOON

This phase of habit formation is characterized by the feeling of “this is easy.” As all married people will tell you, at some point even the greatest honeymoon must end. The honeymoon phase is usually the result of something inspiring. For example, a person attends a highly motivational conference, and for the first few days after the conference the individual is making positive changes in his or her life.

Phase 2: THE FIGHT THRU

Inspiration fades and reality sets in. A person finds himself struggling with the positive habit completion and old habits seem to be right around the corner. The key to moving to the third phase of habit formation is to win 2 or 3 “fight thru’s.” This is critical. To win the fight thru, use the following techniques:

  1. RECOGNIZE: Recognition is essential for winning the fight thru. When you have entered the fight through, simply say to yourself, “I have entered the fight thru, and I need to win a few to move past this.” Winning each fight thru will make it easier to win the next. Conversely, when you choose to lose a fight thru, you make it easier to lose the next one.
  2. ASK 2 QUESTIONS: “How will I feel if I do this?”and “How will I feel if I don’t do this?” Bring EMOTION into the equation. Let yourself feel the positive in winning the fight thru and the negative in losing.
  3. LIFE PROJECTION: If the above 2 techniques haven’t moved you to action, then imagine in great detail how your life will be in 5 years if you do not begin making changes. Be totally honest with yourself, and allow yourself to feel what life will be like if the changes are not made.

Phase 3: SECOND NATURE

Entering second nature is often described by feelings of “getting in the groove.” Once in second nature, the following are 3 common interruptions that will send a person back to the fight thru:

  1. THE DISCOURAGEMENT MONSTER: An individual allows negative results discourage him or her into thinking, “This isn’t working, and there is nothing I can do.”
  2. DISRUPTIONS: An individual experiences significant change to his or her current pattern (e.g., vacations, holidays, illness, weekends).
  3. SEDUCTION OF SUCCESS: An individual begins to focus on positive results and begins to think, “I’m the special one. I have finally figured out how to have great results with not so great process.”

If a person experiences an interruption that sends him or her back to the fight thru, winning 2 or 3 fight thru’s will bring him or her back to second nature.

Here’s how to put this process into action and create a new habit of daily sex.

The first thing to do is have a conversation and say it. Tell your spouse that you’d like to change your daily default from no-sex to sex, that you want the two of you to set the expectation that you’ll be having sex every day. The key here isn’t that you must have sex every single day, but that the expectation is for daily sex —  if no one says anything, then assume you’re having sex. Does your spouse agree? If not, then you’re not ready to create a habit because you aren’t both on the same page. Continue your conversation and come back to this post later. To be successful, both spouses need to want to create the new habit.

After you’ve agreed on your goal, start doing it! Have sex every day unless someone asks otherwise. Make sex the assumption, and no-sex the exception. This is the beginning of Phase 1. It’ll probably be easy for a while! Remember your first year of marriage, your literal honeymoon? You’ll want to pick a time that’s usually available every day and start doing it.

But Phase 2 is the hardest part. There may be a few days where no one says anything, and you don’t have sex. Your new habit hasn’t solidified yet. You have to recognize that your expectation is reverting to no-sex, and you need to have a conversation about it. Reaffirm your shared goal of daily sex. Don’t make excuses for why you failed, and don’t feel bad about it. Just recognize the need to “fight thru”. Take the time to get in the mood, muster some energy, and make love. Just Do It. Winning “fight thru” episodes is the key creating a new habit — it will take several wins over the course two or three months to set your new habit in stone.

And finally, don’t become complacent when you hit Phase 3. Periodically remind yourselves about your goal of daily sex, and verify that your new expectation is solidly in place: do you always have sex unless someone initiates a “no”?

Once your habit is in place, you should never have no-sex unless someone intentionally initiates it. The end result won’t be sex every single day of the year — sometimes you get sick, kids drive you crazy, work and chores overwhelm you, and emergencies happen. That’s life! But the expectation every day is that you’ll be having sex together.

What do you think about the daily habit of sex? Is your daily expectation yes, or no?

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Frequent Sex Is Good For Brain Health 3

A new study says that maintaining an active sex life is good for the health of your brain.

Older guys who get laid regularly have better “brain health” and are less likely to lose memory, according to the Coventry University study.

Men ages 50 to 89 with active sex lives scored 23 percent higher on cognitive word tests and 3 percent higher on numbers puzzles, according to the researchers, who quizzed 6,800 people across England.

Women who had more sex scored better on the word test but not the numbers test.

The improvement for men on the numbers test was pretty small (only 3%) so that result is questionable. It’s safe to say that more sex is good for the brains of both men and women (though correlation does not equal causation). So, if you want to protect your brain, maintain your ability to recall lists of words, and boost your immune system, I recommend that you have frequent sex.

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Frequent Sex Boosts Women's Immune Systems 4

Having frequent sex throughout a woman’s monthly cycle boosts her immune system and increases the chance of conception. No mention of whether men benefit from more sex, but I’m going to guess yes.

The researchers also found that during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle—the period of time before ovulation—Type 1 T-cell count surged in sexually active. This helps the body safeguard against illnesses and infections that could ultimately inhibit a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant.

The second paper looked at immunoglobulin antibody levels in women who were sexually active and compared them to the levels in those who were not. These antibodies are produced by white blood cells and are critical to fighting off bacteria, viruses and other microbes. The researchers found that sexually active women had higher levels of certain antibodies at different times of their cycle, and the pattern reflected the body’s efforts to ramp up its protective defense to prepare for the potential for pregnancy. The researchers did not observe the same fluctuations in T-cell counts and immunoglobulins in non–sexually active women.

Short version: have more sex if you want to get sick less or are trying to conceive.

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Best Christian Sex Links of the Week 5

Welcome to 2015! What’s been going on the the sexosphere while we were on vacation?

The Gift of More Engagement — Or as I wrote, The Importance of Enthusiasm.

How to Strip for your Husband

Near Daily Sex — It takes the pressure off sex and improves every aspect of your marriage.

15 New Year’s Resolutions, for couples, husbands, and wives. Also, a great post about morning sex.

I Wasn’t Treating My Husband Fairly, And It Wasn’t Fair — An essay by a wife who quit nagging and berating her husband.

Christians, Stop Staying Pure Till Marriage — At the risk of spoiling the essay, Sarah’s point is that purity is for life; sex inside of marriage doesn’t make you “impure”, and in fact it’s quite the opposite.

Does he make you laugh? — Laughing together is sexy!

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Great Sex Only Comes From Frequent Sex 6

The Generous Husband writes: great sex only comes from frequent sex.

Anything more than good sex requires a solid relationship, with trust, love, and real knowledge of each other. It requires time and effort. Incredible sex requires more of the same – probably several years. Really mind blowing sex may take a decade or more, depending on how much baggage you each have and how dedicated you each are to having a deep and intimate relationship.

Beyond trust, knowing, and a real connection, great sex only happens as part of frequent sex. It is like anything else from bowling to dance – you can enjoy doing it on occasion, but to be good at it you have to do it over, and over, and over.

Over and over and over with the same person, of course. Multiple studies show that married people have more and better sex than single people. (Of course the linked-to article tries to put a negative spin on the positve results, but hey.)

“Studies have found that married people have more sex than single people, and they also have more varied sex,” says sexual health expert and best-selling author Dr. Laura Berman, who hosts “In The Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman” on OWN. ”Oral sex is also more common among married people.”

One of the most comprehensive studies on the subject, which was released in 2010 by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, confirmed this, compiling statistics on sexual attitudes and habits of 5,865 people between ages 14 and 94. An average of 61 percent of singles reported that they hadn’t had sex within the past year, compared with 18 percent of married people. Looking specifically at those between the ages of 25 and 59, 25 percent of married people reported that they were still having sex two to three times per week versus less than five percent of singles.

The negatives in the article are basically a twisted explanation of the investment that a good marriage requires. Marriage creates a potential: if that potential is nurtured and cherished it will grow into an amazing relationship; if the potential is neglected and abused it will whither into a dried-up husk. (But apparently you’ll still be having more sex than your single friends.)

Since we’re writing to married people here, the point is simple: if you want better sex, have more sex.

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